The Stevens Initiative runs annual competitions to give grants (also referred to as awards) for educational institutions and non-profit organizations in the United States and the Middle East and North Africa to administer virtual exchange programs between youth in the United States and the Middle East and North Africa.
The Initiative made grants to 10 organizations in 2016. These programs will reach over 21,000 young people in 29 U.S. states and 17 countries in the Middle East and North Africa. Click here [insert link to map/projects page once this new site page is complete] to learn more about programs supported through Stevens Initiative grants.
The Initiative will announce the next round of grants in Summer 2017. The competition for these grants had two stages. First, the Initiative invited letters of interest outlining the proposed programs. Second, organizations whose letters of interest were selected as finalists were invited to submit full grant applications. Applications are reviewed by a panel of independent experts on education, technology, development, and other relevant fields. Panelists assess applications according to the following criteria:
- Institutional capacity
- Program feasibility
- Emphasis on reaching those whose access to exchange programs has been limited, including girls, underrepresented populations, the disabled, and other groups
- Statement of need
- Appeal to proposed participants
- Contribution to participants’ global competencies
- Alignment with one or more of the Initiative’s priorities for the 2017 competition:
- Programs focused on Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM)
- Programs that use project-based learning – a method that develops skills and understanding by exploring real-world problems –to promote collaborative learning
- Programs that serve refugees from the Middle East or North Africa
- Programs that use innovative methodologies as part of or in conjunction with the virtual exchange, such as but not limited to one of the following: virtual reality and immersive experiences; use of mobile platforms; video games; programs that use language other than English as the primary language (Arabic, French, and others) or use automated translation; and programs that connect people from more than two countries
- Programs that include in-person exchanges as a complement to the participants’ virtual exchange activities
Detailed information about the grant competition, including application instructions, answers to frequently asked questions, and links to webinar recordings are available on the application website.