Call for Proposals – Ambassadors Fund for Cultural Preservation 2021 Grants Program (Deadline of Concept Note (Round 1): November 20, 2020)

Phnom Bakheng-Ambassador Fund for Cultural Preservation 2017


Federal Awarding Agency: U.S. Embassy Phnom Penh
Announcement Type: Grant Notice
Funding Opportunity Number:
Funding Opportunity Title:
Ambassadors Fund for Cultural Preservation Grants Program
Opportunity Category: Discretionary
Funding Instrument Type: Grant
Program Authorization: Mutual Educational and Cultural Exchange Act of 1961, as amended (P.L. 87-256, § 102(b)(5))
Catalogue of Federal Domestic Assistance (CFDA) Number: 19.025 — Ambassadors Fund for Cultural Preservation
Application Deadline: Project abstracts, see application guidelines below, shall be submitted by November 20, 2020. Only select project abstract(s), approved by Washington, will be notified and invited to submit a full proposal sometime by March 10, 2021. Information required for each round is included in the last part of this announcement.
Floor on Amount of Individual Awards: US $10,000 per project
Ceiling on Amount of Individual Awards: US $500,000 per project
Anticipated Award Date: September 2021
Anticipated Project Completion Date: Within 5 years


The U.S. Embassy in Phnom Penh and the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs of the U.S. Department of State are pleased to announce the fiscal year 2021 call for proposals for the Ambassadors Fund for Cultural Preservation Grants Program. Beginning with fiscal year 2021, The U.S. Embassy in Phnom Penh and the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs of the U.S. Department of State are implementing several changes to the program during this cycle including combining the small and large grants program into a single program, and dividing the application process into two rounds and reducing the amount of information required up front.


The Fund was established to help countries preserve their cultural heritage. For Cambodia, it is aimed at preserving major ancient archaeological sites, historic buildings and monuments, major museum collections, and forms of traditional cultural expression that have historical or cultural significance and are accessible to the public and protected by law in Cambodia. The projects selected to receive funding through the U.S. Ambassadors Fund for Cultural Preservation (AFCP) Grants Program will advance U.S. diplomatic goals and demonstrate the depth of U.S. respect for the cultural heritage of Cambodia. Proposal shall advance U.S. foreign policy objectives and demonstrate American leadership in the preservation and protection of cultural heritage around the world.


The U.S. Ambassadors Fund for Cultural Preservation (AFCP) Grants Program supports the preservation of major ancient archaeological sites, historic buildings and monuments, major museum collections, and forms of traditional cultural expression, such as indigenous languages and crafts that are accessible to the public and protected by law in the host country. Appropriate project activities may include:

a) Anastylosis (reassembling a site from its original parts);
b) Conservation (addressing damage or deterioration to an object or site);
c) Consolidation (connecting or reconnecting elements of an object or site);
d) Documentation (recording in analog or digital format the condition and salient features of an object, site, or tradition);
e) Inventory (listing of objects, sites, or traditions by location, feature, age, or other unifying characteristic or state);
f) Preventive Conservation (addressing conditions that threaten or damage a site, object, collection, or tradition);
g) Restoration (replacing missing elements to recreate the original appearance of an object or site, usually appropriate only with fine arts, decorative arts, and historic buildings);
h) Stabilization (reducing the physical disturbance of an object or site).


Applications for projects that directly support one or more of the following will receive additional consideration in FY 2021:

a) Directly support U.S. treaty or bilateral agreement obligations;
b) Support disaster risk reduction for cultural heritage in disaster-prone areas or post-disaster cultural heritage recovery;
c) Support conflict resolution and help communities bridge differences;


The U.S. Embassy Phnom Penh defines eligible project implementers as reputable and accountable non-commercial entities that are able to demonstrate they have the requisite capacity to manage projects to preserve cultural heritage. Eligible implementers may include non-governmental organizations, museums, educational institutions, ministries of culture, or similar institutions and organizations, including U.S.-based educational institutions and organizations subject to Section 501(c)(3) of the tax code. The AFCP will not award grants to individuals, commercial entities, or past award recipients that have not fulfilled the objectives or reporting requirements of previous awards.

Potential implementers must have a unique entity identifier, such as a DUNS number, and be registered and active in to receive U.S. federal assistance. If Round 1 project idea is advanced to Round 2 and the anticipated implementer is not registered in, the anticipated implementer should start the registration process immediately, so it is in place in the event the project is ultimately selected for an award. The registration process can take several weeks to complete so it is important to avoid any delay. Instructions on this process are listed in the last part of the announcement.


AFCP does NOT support the following activities or costs, and applications involving any of the activities or costs below will be deemed ineligible:

a) Preservation or purchase of privately or commercially owned cultural objects, collections, or real property, including those whose transfer from private or commercial to public ownership is envisioned, planned, or in process but not complete at the time of application;
b) Preservation of natural heritage (physical, biological, and geological formations, paleontological collections, habitats of threatened species of animals and plants, fossils, etc.);
c) Preservation of hominid or human remains;
d) Preservation of news media (newspapers, newsreels, radio and TV programs, etc.);
e) Preservation of published materials available elsewhere (books, periodicals, etc.);
f) Development of curricula or educational materials for classroom use;
g) Archaeological excavations or exploratory surveys for research purposes;
h) Historical research, except in cases where the research is justifiable and integral to the success of the proposed project;
i) Acquisition or creation of new exhibits, objects, or collections for new or existing museums;
j) Construction of new buildings, building additions, or permanent coverings (over archaeological sites, for example);
k) Commissions of new works of art or architecture for commemorative or economic development purposes;
l) Creation of new or the modern adaptation of existing traditional dances, songs, chants, musical compositions, plays, or other performances;
m) Creation of replicas or conjectural reconstructions of cultural objects or sites that no longer exist;
n) Relocation of cultural sites from one physical location to another;
o) Removal of cultural objects or elements of cultural sites from the country for any reason;
p) Digitization of cultural objects or collections, unless part of a larger, clearly defined conservation, documentation, or public diplomacy effort;
q) Conservation plans or other studies, unless they are one component of a larger project to implement the results of those studies;
r) Cash reserves, endowments, or revolving funds (funds must be expended within the award period [up to five years] and may not be used to create an endowment or revolving fund);
s) Costs of fund-raising campaigns;
t) Contingency, unforeseen, or miscellaneous costs or fees;
u) Costs of work performed prior to announcement of the award unless allowable per 2 CFR 200.458 and approved by the Grants Officer;
v) International travel, except in cases where travel is justifiable and integral to the success of the proposed project or to provide project leaders with learning and exchange opportunities with cultural heritage experts;
w) Individual projects costing less than US $10,000 or more than $500,000;
x) Independent U.S. projects overseas.


There is no minimum or maximum percentage of cost participation required. When an implementing partner offers cost sharing, it is understood and agreed that the partner must provide the amount of cost sharing as stipulated in the budget of the application and later included in an approved agreement. The implementing partner will be responsible for tracking and reporting on any cost share or outside funding, which is subject to audit per 2 CFR 200. Cost sharing may be in the form of allowable direct or indirect costs.


The establishment clause of the U.S. Constitution permits the government to include religious objects and sites within an aid program under certain conditions. For example, an item with a religious connection (including a place of worship) may be the subject of a cultural preservation grant if the item derives its primary significance and is nominated solely on the basis of architectural, artistic, historical, or other cultural (not religious) criteria.


Beginning with fiscal year 2021, the application process for the AFCP Grants Program takes place in two rounds: concept note (Round 1) and full proposal (Round 2).

The deadline for submitting a concept note (Round 1) (in English) is November 20, 2020.
Proposals shall be submitted in both paper and soft copy to:
Public Affairs Section (PAS), U.S. Embassy, No. 1, Street 96, Phnom Penh
Re: Ambassadors Fund for Cultural Preservation 2021 Grants Program_Round I Email:

Only select project abstract(s), approved by Washington, will be notified and invited to submit a full proposal (Round 2) by March 10, 2021.


Round 1 Concept Note Requirements (Deadline: November 20, 2020)

Each concept note submitted must include:

a) Project basics, including working title, anticipated project length (in months), location/site, and project cost estimate (amount requested from AFCP; in U.S. dollars);
b) Project implementer information, including name and SAM registration status;
c) Project purpose that summarizes the objectives, proposed activities, and desired results
d) Rationale for AFCP support, explaining:

    1. why it is in the interests of the U.S. government to fund the project;
    2. how the project relates to existing bilateral agreements, or other U.S. foreign policy objectives; the projected public diplomacy benefits and impacts of the project;
    3. whether it contributes to broader host country or community aims or objectives;

e) Five (5) high quality digital images (JPEGs) or audiovisual files that convey the nature and condition of the site, collection, or tradition and show the urgency or need for the proposed project (collapsing walls, water damage, etc.).

Round 2 Full Application Requirements (Deadline: March 10, 2021)

The U.S. Embassy Phnom Penh will invite applicants selected in Round 1 to submit full applications. The applications must fully satisfy the program objectives, funding areas and priorities, and eligibility requirements. Furthermore, to be considered complete, they must include:

a) Project dates;
b) Project activities description and timeframe that present the project tasks in chronological order and list the major milestones with target dates for achieving them (Note: Applicants may propose project periods of up to 60 months [five years]);
c) Theory of change that describes how the project activities and outputs will help achieve any broader host country or community aims or objectives (For example, if a broader goal is economic development, how will the activities and outputs directly contribute towards achieving that goal?);
d) Statement of importance highlighting the historical, architectural, artistic, or cultural (non-religious) values of the cultural heritage;
e) Proof of official permission to undertake the project from the office, agency, or organization that either owns or is otherwise responsible for the preservation and protection of the site or collection;
f) Implementer public awareness plan describing how the applicant intends to highlight and amplify AFCP-supported activities through print, electronic, and social media platforms;
g) Maintenance plan outlining the steps or measures that will be taken to maintain the site, object, or collection in good condition after the AFCP-supported project is complete; or, in the case of forms of traditional cultural expression, to preserve and disseminate the documentation, knowledge, or skills gained from the project;
h) Résumés or CVs of the proposed project director and key project participants;
i) Detailed project budget, demarcated in one-year budget periods (2021, 2022, 2023, etc.), that lists all costs in separate categories (Personnel, Fringe Benefits, Travel [including Per Diem], Equipment, Supplies, Contractual, Other Direct Costs, Indirect Costs); indicates funds from other sources; and gives a justification for any anticipated international travel costs;
j) Budget narrative explaining how the costs were estimated (quantity x unit cost, annual salary x percentage of time spent on project, etc.) and any large budget line items;
k) Application for Federal Assistance (SF-424), including Budget Information for Non-Construction Programs (SF-424A), Assurances for Non-Construction Programs (SF-424B), and, if applicable, Disclosure of Lobbying Activities (SF-LLL);
l) Relevant supporting documentation, such as historic structure reports, restoration plans and studies, conservation needs assessments and recommendations, architectural and engineering records, etc., compiled in preparation for the proposed project;
m) Additional high quality digital images (JPEGs) or audiovisual files that convey the nature and condition of the site or museum collection and show the urgency or need for the proposed project (collapsing walls, extensive water damage, etc.).


Applicants requesting $25,000 or more in federal assistance must have a Dun & Bradstreet Universal Numbering System (DUNS) number, a NATO Commercial and Government Entity (NCAGE) code, and be registered in the System for Award Management (SAM) prior to submitting applications. NOTE: This process can take weeks/months, especially for non-U.S. applicants. Applicants may acquire DUNs numbers at no cost by calling the dedicated toll-free number request line at 1-866-705-5711 or by request a number online at None U.S. based applicants may request a NCAGE code at SAM is the official free online registration database for the U.S. collects, validates, stores, and disseminates data in support of federal agency acquisition and grant award mission. Registration in SAM is free.

The following documents may be helpful as you develop your proposal.