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Stevens Initiative Coronavirus Response Fund

Stevens Initiative

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Deadline: The deadline for this grant has passed

Grant amount: US $20,000 - US $100,000

Fields of work: Cross-Cultural Understanding & Exchanges

Applicant type: Nonprofit

Funding uses: Education / Outreach, Project / Program

Location of project: Algeria; Bahrain; Egypt; Iran, Islamic Republic Of; Iraq Show all

Location of residency: Algeria; Bahrain; Egypt; Iran, Islamic Republic Of; Iraq Show all

Age restriction: No more than 35 years of age


Competition Overview

The coronavirus pandemic has affected nearly every aspect of daily life around the world, including education and exchange activities. Schools, colleges and universities, and other organizations worldwide have cancelled in-person classes, meetings, and exchange programs. Young people are working to adapt to learning from home, travel is severely curtailed for the foreseeable future, and exchange programs for tens of thousands of young people this summer have been cancelled. These difficult times mean we need to find innovative ways to sustain learning and connections among young people who are isolated.

The Stevens Initiative is providing resources to help education, exchange, and non-profit organizations in the United States and the Middle East and North Africa conduct virtual exchange programs to engage young people and educators affected by the pandemic. Applicants can review the competition rules below and apply on a rolling basis until a final deadline on June 12. 

The Initiative views virtual exchange as programs that: use online technology to connect individuals and small groups between countries; are based on a curriculum or activity plan; involve qualified facilitators (such as educators or others); and involve sustained communication and collaboration synchronously (in real-time) or asynchronously over a period of time.

Types of Grants

Applicants may submit a proposal for a grant supporting one of the following activities:

  • Adapt (or develop a new variant of) and conduct an existing in-person exchange or education program into a summer virtual exchange.
  • Adapt and conduct an existing virtual exchange program to the current global conditions (for example, finding ways to accommodate young people learning from home, engaging parents or guardians as facilitators or co-participants, or overhauling curricula), or offset unanticipated costs for a virtual exchange program caused by the coronavirus pandemic.
  • Prepare those who conduct education or exchange programs to design, prepare for, and facilitate future virtual exchange programming. 

Priority Areas for the Stevens Initiative

Proposed projects are encouraged to focus on the following topics:

  • Technology and computing.
  • World affairs and global studies.
  • Business and entrepreneurship.
  • Language learning and practice.
  • Public health and/or the coronavirus pandemic.

The Stevens Initiative is committed to reaching young people whose access to exchange programs has been limited, and to reaching diverse participants, including:

  • Women and girls.
  • Underserved youth whose access to international exchange has been limited.
  • Refugees.
  • People with disabilities.
  • Minority groups.

Populations with diverse backgrounds and limited resources are among those most severely impacted by the coronavirus crisis. A strong proposal will explain how young people from these populations – whose access to international experiences is limited even in the best of circumstances – will be a priority for outreach and inclusion in the proposed program.

You can learn more about this opportunity by visiting the funder's website.


  • Eligible Applicants:
    • Applying organizations must be based in the United States or in the Middle East and North Africa (Algeria, Bahrain, Egypt, Iran, Iraq, Israel, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Libya, Morocco, Oman, the Palestinian Territories, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Tunisia, United Arab Emirates, and Yemen.)
      • Programs involving refugees from these countries who are currently in countries not listed above are also eligible.
    • Applicants based in the United States must be tax-exempt non-profit organizations, including educational institutions.
    • Grant recipients must be registered to conduct proposed activities in the countries where the activities would take place, if applicable.
    • Applicants based in the Middle East or North Africa must be non-profit organizations, including educational institutions, that can demonstrate current in-country registration.
    • Other organizations are not eligible to apply, though they may be included as sub-grantees or contract recipients.
    • Staff should be proficient in English, able to file reports and conduct evaluations in English as well as in Arabic or French as appropriate.
    • Organizations may submit more than one proposal (for the same or different grant types) if the proposed programs are distinct and do not involve any overlap in staff, curriculum, participants, etc.
    • Participants should be young people in the age range that corresponds to the elementary school, middle school, high school, undergraduate, and graduate education levels, and young professionals under the age of 35.
    • Past and current recipients of Stevens Initiative grants or U.S. Department of State funds are eligible to submit applications.
      • These applications must be for programs that are different from these previously or currently funded activities and do not involve any overlap in staff, curriculum, participants, etc.
    • Grantees will be expected to notify all participants that they are in a Stevens Initiative-supported program and explain what the Stevens Initiative is and who supports the Stevens Initiative.
    • Organizations are encouraged to collaborate to develop a proposed program.
      • The application should be submitted by one organization and may list partners as sub-grantees or contractors.
      • The lead applicant should be the organization that will conduct the largest portion of the proposed work.
    • In administering grants and the grant competition, the Stevens Initiative follows, and expects applicants and grant recipients to follow, the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs of the U.S. Department of State’s Diversity Statement:
      • “The Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs of the United States Department of State strives to ensure that its efforts reflect the diversity of U.S. society and societies abroad.
      • The Bureau seeks and encourages the involvement of people from traditionally underrepresented audiences in all its grants, programs and other activities and in its workforce and workplace.
      • Opportunities are open to people regardless of their race, color, national origin, sex, age, religion, geographic location, socio- economic status, disability, sexual orientation or gender identity. 
    • Applicants must demonstrate the capacity to meet U.S. reporting requirements as specified in the “Office of Management and Budget” and “Department of State” sections of “Uniform Administrative Requirements, Cost Principles, and Audit Requirements for Federal Grants” (2 CFR sections 200 and 600).


  • An organization can request no more than 40% of the amount of their Fiscal Year 2019 operating budget.
  • Applicants are reminded that U.S. Executive Orders and U.S. law prohibits transactions with, and the provision of resources and support to, individuals and organizations associated with terrorism. It is the legal responsibility of the grant recipient to ensure compliance with these Executive Orders and laws. This provision must be included in any sub‐grants issued under this grant.

This page was last reviewed June 14, 2020 and last updated June 14, 2020