The Bureau of East Asian and Pacific Affairs (EAP) Office of Regional and Security Policy (RSP) at the U.S. Department of State (DOS), announces this Notice of Funding Opportunity (“NOFO”) for the development of a general education course curriculum on information technology and cybersecurity fundamentals, which would be accessible to students, young professionals, and the general public.
The curriculum will publicly advertised and shared, royalty-free, to qualifying universities and educational institutions located in economic support fund (ESF) eligible countries within the Indo-Pacific region.
The purpose of the EAP-funded cybersecurity and IT fundamentals curriculum is to provide the ordinary student or young professional, including but not limited to those study cybersecurity/IT or working in a cybersecurity/IT-related field, with the technical prowess to effectively work in all sectors as they become increasingly more reliant on technology. The curriculum will also be made publicly available and royalty free to qualifying universities and organizations, which will help broaden the accessibility of the curriculum to regional universities and organizations that do not have sufficient funds to develop a similar curriculum on their own.
- Objective 1: An increase in the number of regional universities and organizations offering a curriculum that adequately prepares students and young professionals with the foundational cyber hygiene knowledge to protect themselves online, recognize cyber threats, and mitigate cyber-related risks with their sector/organization, among others.
- Objective 2: An increased number of students and young professionals have developed the KSA’s needed to understand fundamental cybersecurity and IT-related concepts to effectively work in today’s increasingly digital workforce.
To achieve the goals and expected results, the program could include the following activities:
- Activity 1: Consult with EAP, government, industry, and academia to identify the cyber/digital workforce skill gaps that currently exist, understand each sector’s priorities, and use this information to help create a IT/cybersecurity fundamental course curriculum targeted for university students, young professionals, and ordinary citizens.
- Activity 2: Use the NICE mapping tool to identify knowledge, skills, and abilities (KSA) that students should possess to have a foundational understanding of cybersecurity/ITrelated challenges. Apply the KSAs identified in the NICE mapping tool to the course curriculum.
- Activity 3: Develop an 8-to-16-week general education cybersecurity and IT fundamentals course to teach the skills identified in Activity 1 and 2.
- Activity 4: Develop an abbreviated 1–2-week workshop equivalent to the cybersecurity and IT fundamentals course, which will be used to provide capacity-building in multilateral regional forums, bilaterally with foreign governments, industry, or civil society stakeholder, and on an ad hoc basis, per direction and consultation with EAP.
- Activity 5: Engage and support universities located in ESF-eligible countries in the EAP region to adopt this curriculum and assist in providing expertise for universities to effectively deliver the course, such as through train-the-trainer workshops, identifying situational and technical constraints, and providing textbooks and potentially localizing curriculum materials if needed.
- Activity 6: If there is excess funding or additional funds – adapt the curriculum and/or abbreviated training to be delivered as a self-study online course, which would be made free and publicly available to organizations and universities who qualify, to reach a wider audience.
- EAP anticipates having approximately $691,358 of FY20 Economic Support Funds (ESF) available to support one successful application submitted in response to this NOFO, subject to the ability of funding. The authority for this funding opportunity is found in the Foreign Assistance Act of 1961, as amended (FAA).
- Applicants should include an anticipated start date between August and September 2021 and the period of performance should be 36 months.
The applicant will only provide direct assistance under the cooperative agreement to the following countries: Bangladesh, Bhutan, Burma* (subject to the vetting requirements), Cambodia, Fiji, India, Indonesia, Kiribati, Laos, Malaysia, Maldives, Marshall Islands, Micronesia, Mongolia, Nauru, Nepal, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Philippines, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Timor-Leste, Tonga, Tuvalu, Vanuatu, and Vietnam. Priority countries will be determined upon consultation with EAP, but applicants should include in their proposal at least one country from the ASEAN region (Burma, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Philippines, Thailand, and Vietnam) and at least one Pacific Island country (Fiji, Kiribati, Marshall Islands, Micronesia, Nauru, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tonga, Tuvalu, and Vanuatu).
- EAP welcomes applications from U.S. Non-profit/non-governmental organizations (NGOs) having a 501(c)(3) status with the IRS, or overseas-based non-profit/non-governmental organizations, and U.S. and overseas accredited, or the equivalent to an accredited, private/state institutions of higher education.
- For-profit and commercial firms are not eligible to apply in response to this NOFO.
For more information, visit https://www.grants.gov/web/grants/view-opportunity.html?oppId=333162