The English Access Micro-scholarship program, 2019-2021

Notification of Funding Opportunity 2019

Funding Opportunity: Kazakhstan:



Announcement Type: Cooperative Agreement

Funding Amount: Up to $187,000 total funding for implementing Access program in up to 6 sites.  Applicants are invited to submit proposals for from one to six sites. Typically, it is approximately $31,000 per Program for one provider in one site.

CFDA: 19.421 and 19.900

Opening Date: Wednesday, October 2, 2019

Closing Date: Sunday, November 10, 2019

Program: English Access Microscholarship 

Public Affairs Section of the U.S. Embassy

3, Koshkarbayev St., Nur-Sultan 010010

Tel.: +77172702402 


The English Access Microscholarship Program (Access) is a global program supported by the U.S. Department of State. Access provides a foundation of English language skills to talented 13-15 year-olds from economically disadvantaged sectors through after-school classes and intensive sessions.  Access gives participants English skills that may lead to better jobs and educational prospects. The program also gives participants the opportunity to gain an appreciation for U.S. culture and values. It is intended to increase their ability to participate successfully in the socio-economic development of their countries and improve their chances of participating in educational and exchange programs in the United States. Since its inception in 2004, approximately 120,000 students in more than 89 countries have participated in the Access Program. 

Project description:

The goal of the Access Program is to equip talented students who possess a minimal knowledge of English with effective communication and critical thinking skills through meaning interaction, cooperative learning strategies, and real-life contexts.  Additionally, Access seeks to prepare students for conversational English language skills with native and non-native speakers of English through a variety of experiential learning activities. Selected participants must be bright, economically disadvantaged 13- to 15-year-old students with beginning level of English.  Participants should commit to enroll in classes during the full two-year program. Students will graduate with certificates of completion from the U.S. Embassy in Kazakhstan at the end of their two-year program. The Program is divided into distinct phases:

After-School Instruction 

Access Program is a two-year program that requires a minimum of 360 hours of instruction reasonably distributed over the two-year period.  After-school instruction has been the preferred time for teaching and has generally taken place three days a week with each class lasting from one to one and a half hours per day.  It is the responsibility of the Providers to consider the schedule of the students to ensure that Access classes do not interfere with students’ regular school schedule. Enhancement activities related to U.S. culture and values must occur regularly throughout the two years of the program, including during after-school Instruction.  Cultural Enhancement activities should be designed to provide hands-on and interactive opportunities for students to engage in discussions, games, community service, and other activities related to U.S. culture and values. Examples may include community events (celebrating U.S. holidays, e.g. Thanksgiving and/or Fourth of July events) and joint programming with participation of U.S. Embassy personnel, 

  1. S. scholars in town (e.g. English Language Fellows, English Teaching Assistants, Fulbright Students and/or Peace Corps volunteers), English language intensive sessions, leadership training, etc.  Access Programs should also include computer instruction to complement English language classes and enhancement activities. Computer classes, multimedia learning, or social media activities during after-school Instruction and/or intensive sessions should be included in the proposal.

Intensive Sessions 

Intensive Sessions are often two-week-long summer programs that include more instruction hours per week than the After-school program.  These sessions are included in the 360 hours of required instruction. Hours of instruction during Intensive Sessions may not exceed 8 hours per day or 40 hours per week. Intensive sessions should combine English language instruction with U.S. cultural activities such as drama, computers, art, music, or games and sports, or even civic responsibility projects, leadership and teamwork training, or tolerance programs. Access Program intensive sessions are an important activity which can supplement, initiate, or conclude a student’s two-year English language programming.  All intensive sessions should provide students with a window on U.S. culture and values, and their activities as much as possible should incorporate invited speakers (e.g. U.S. exchanges alumni, Embassy personnel, and other native and non-native English-speaking partners, etc.).

Community Service Activities

Access students should also be involved in community service activities to increase their awareness of issues facing their respective communities while also gaining an understanding of the ways they can positively contribute to civil society.   In-Country Educational Service Provider: Roles and Responsibilities

Proposal Eligibility Requirements:

Proposals may be submitted by Kazakhstan or U.S. based organizations. 

Number of providers:

The U.S. Embassy reserves the right to split the project between providers. 

Project implementation location:

The project implementation location should include cities and towns throughout Kazakhstan. Regional projects should be coordinated with local oblast educational authorities. (Applicants should take note of the Department of State’s Kazakhstan Travel Warning and programming should not take place in areas where grant monitoring is not possible due to security considerations).

Design requirements:

The classes should be planned during the after-school hours not to conflict with students’ regular class hours. The participants must be bright, economically disadvantaged 13-15 year-old students. Classes should be organized both by age groups (within a few years age difference) and language proficiency levels, with 12-15 students per class. The grantee should clearly define its criteria of “economically disadvantaged youth.” The general guideline is to target young students whose families will not be able to afford private English classes. 

Estimated project duration:

Two (2) academic years with minimum 180 hours of instruction per year (360 hours for the two-year period). Intensive sessions should be included in the 180 hours of instruction required per year.  Start date of the projects is January 2020

Technical and infrastructure requirements:

The provider must specify the location(s) of the Access program and space that will be used for the classes and activities. The provider must either provide verification that the space belongs to the grantee or a written agreement with the holder of the space. The space must have seating for the students; it must have a blackboard/whiteboard, power outlet, heating (for the winter months), and minimal sanitary requisites. The space should also have a computer class with internet capability (or the grantee should consider providing for this separately). 

Functional requirements:

  1. a) The provider is responsible for setting criteria for and identifying “economically disadvantaged youth” to be enrolled in the program. The provider is required to produce midterm and final performance reports. The provider should monitor students’ attendance and performance. 
  2. b) The provider is responsible for creating a highly effective and innovative method for recruiting new Access teachers.  This outreach would include, but not be limited to contacting local state education offices, private language schools and use of social media.
  3. c) post the highlights on activities on the shared Facebook group
  4. d) Connect the Future Leaders Exchange (FLEX) program and other USG Alumni to Access with the goal of having one FLEX student attached to every Access group in Kazakhstan.
  5. e) The provider is responsible for maintaining a database of Access alumni.
  6. f) Work closely with the National Access Alumni Network team to create activities for the community.  

Assumptions and agreements:

The provider should reach students in various locations throughout Kazakhstan during this program. The budget per student should be under $1,2000 for the two-year period.  If a provider would like to run the entire six cities, the total cost should not exceed $187,000. Proposals that are cost-effective and include significant cost-share will be given priority.

Submission information:

The proposals should be submitted to the Public Affairs Section, U.S. Embassy in Nur-Sultan electronically to . Deadline for submission is November 10, 2019

Basis for award of the grant:

The grantee should be an established institution or a non-governmental organization (NGO) with at least 3 years of experience in administering educational programs and/or teaching English, preferably to the target age group. The grantee must have access to an established core of English instructors willing to commit their time to this project. The grantee must identify the location(s) and venue(s) that will be used for this program (verified with a document/preliminary agreement) and will be responsible for recruiting students, and in consultation with the Regional English Language Office at the U.S. Embassy, developing the curriculum. Organizations with previous experience and a capacity of working with educational institutions on a national level will be given priority. 

Format of the proposal: 


  • Narrative: A narrative document, no longer than five pages, that describes the program in detail is required.  This document should include: 1) a description of the grantee organization including resume and previous experience, 2) the description of Access Program location(s), methodology, English language intensive sessions, cultural enhancement components, student selection criteria and process, age range of students, materials used, number of teachers, and grantee cost-sharing.  



  • Budget: The budget spreadsheet should include all program costs.  Categories include a breakdown of costs for the two-year program (e.g. instruction, books/materials, transportation, administration, and cultural enhancement components), the total number of students to be enrolled, the start and end dates for instruction, the number of hours of instruction students will receive per week and year, and the type of program (e.g. after-school, weekend, full-time, or English language intensive sessions).  Intensive sessions must be listed as a separate row of the Budget Spreadsheet, with a complete cost breakdown. A breakdown of any cost-sharing by the grantee should be submitted in a separate spreadsheet.

Additional Requirements for Organizations: 

All organizations applying to receive Federal assistance must have a Dun & Bradstreet Number (DUNS), a CCR (NCAGE) number, and an active account with the System for Award Management ( before an award can be made.


Dun &Bradstreet DUNS – A DUNS number may be acquired at no cost by calling the dedicated toll-free DUNS number request line at 1-866-705-5711 or requesting on-line at

The DUNS number is a nine-digit number established and assigned by Dun and Bradstreet, Inc.

(D&B) to uniquely identify business entities.  All organizations applying for U.S. government grant funds must have a DUNS number.  To obtain a DUNS number, please follow the steps below:

  1. Go to
  2. Select the country where your organization is physically located.  Complete

and submit the form.  Organizations will need to provide basic information, including

physical and mailing addresses, name and title of the chief executive, primary Standard

Industrial Code (SIC), and annual revenue.  Typically, organizations can complete this process in one day and have a DUNS number emailed to them.  For technical difficulties in obtaining this number, please contact D&B at:

System for Award Management (SAM) – SAM is a U.S.-government wide registry of vendors doing business with the U.S. federal government and requires annual renewal.  The system centralizes information about grant applicants/recipients, and provides a central location for grant applicants/recipients to change organizational information.  More information about and useful guides for setting-up a new account, updating an existing account, or renewing an expired account can be found at:

Foreign-based applicants are strongly encouraged to review these guides when creating an account with  Further, applicants must maintain an active account, with current information, while its application is under consideration for funding.  To keep an active account, Applicants must renew it at least once each year. If an account expires, the

Organization cannot submit a grant application until it is renewed.

To create a new account, please follow the steps below:

  1. Go to
  2. Select Create User Account, and then select Create an Account on the left-hand side of

the screen under Individual Account Details.  Organizations must have DUNS number

and a CAGE number (US Domestic Organizations) or a NCAGE number (Foreign

Organizations), to create an account.

  1. Complete and submit the online form.  If the applying organization already has the

necessary information on hand (see the SAM User Guide), the online form takes

approximately one hour to complete, depending upon the size and complexity of the

applying entity.  Because of the different steps in the process, it can take anywhere from

three to fourteen days to complete the process of creating an account with the system.

For help with, please visit their support page at:

or contact them at: (+1) 334-206-7828.

Authority: Overall grant making authority for this program is contained in the Foreign Assistance Act of 1961, Public Law 87-195, as amended.  The purpose of the Act is “to enable the Government of the United States to promote the foreign policy, security, and general welfare of the United States by assisting peoples of the world in their efforts toward economic development and internal and external security, and for other purposes.” The funding authority for the program above is provided through legislation. 


November 10, 2019:  Application Deadline

December 2019:  Notification of successful applicants begins. 

Additional information:

For additional information or clarification please contact the U.S. Embassy Public Affairs Section program coordinator at +7717702402 and