University of Southern California


U.S.-India 21st Century Knowledge Initiative

Slots:                                                  1                           

Internal Deadline:                          Contact the Office of Research if interested.

LOI:                                                     N/A      

External Deadline:                          5pm, Thursday, May 31, 2018 (submission instructions here).

Award Information:                       Type: Cooperative Agreement

Estimated Number of Awards: Not mentioned in proposal.

Anticipated Amount: $100,000 over a 2 year period.

Cost Sharing:                                  

The United States – India Educational Foundation (hereinafter referred as USIEF) encourages cost sharing, which may be in the form of allowable direct or indirect costs. The recipient of the 21st Century Knowledge Initiative award must maintain written records to support all allowable costs which are claimed as its contribution to cost participation, as well as costs to be paid by USIEF. Such records are subject to audit. The Indirect Cost Rate should not exceed 5% of the total budget for program and direct administrative cost.

The commitment of all partner institutions to the proposed project should be reflected in the cost-sharing which they offer in the context of their respective institutional capacities. Although the contributions offered by institutions with relatively few resources may be less than those offered by applicants with greater resources, all participating institutions should identify appropriate contributions. Proposed cost-sharing will be considered an important indicator of the applicant institution’s commitment to the project. U.S.-India 21st Century Knowledge Initiative support may be used to assist with the costs of the exchange visits as well as the costs of the administration of the project by the U.S. grantee institution. U.S. administrative costs that may be covered by the Knowledge Initiative, with certain limitations, include administrative salaries, faculty replacement costs, other direct administrative costs, and indirect costs. Any secondary U.S. federal agency partner contributions cannot be considered for cost sharing. The cost of administering the project at the Indian partner organization(s) is also eligible for support from the Knowledge Initiative. Although each grant will be awarded to a single U.S. institutional partner, the proposal should make adequate provision for the administrative costs of all partner institutions, including the Indian partner(s).

 Submission Process:                     PIs must submit their application as a Limited Submission through the Office of Research Application Portal:

Materials to submit:

Link to Award:                       

Who May Serve as PI:

A U.S. college or university must submit the proposal and must serve as the grant recipient with responsibility for project coordination.

Note: USIEF will only accept one proposal per institution. U.S. institutions that have received a U.S.-India 21st Century Knowledge Initiative (formerly known as the Obama-Singh 21st Century Knowledge Initiative) grant from USIEF in the past are not eligible.



The United States-India Educational Foundation (USIEF) announces an open competition for the support of projects through the U.S.-India 21st Century Knowledge Initiative. The Knowledge Initiative aims to strengthen collaboration and build partnerships between American and Indian institutions of higher education. Accredited U.S. post-secondary educational institutions meeting the provisions described in Internal Revenue Code section 26 U.S.C. 501c(3) may submit proposals to support the program’s goals of encouraging mutual understanding, facilitating educational reform, fostering economic development, and engaging civil society through academic cooperation with Indian postsecondary educational institutions, in the thematic areas of Energy, Climate & Environmental Studies; Education & Educational Reform; and Sustainable Development & Community Development.

To encourage mutual understanding, facilitate educational reform, foster economic development, and engage civil society, the 21st Century Knowledge Initiative enables U.S. colleges and universities and Indian counterpart institutions to pursue objectives cooperatively through exchange visits of faculty, administrators, post graduate Indian students, and U.S. graduate students who can demonstrate the ability to work independently. The Knowledge Initiative is not designed to specifically support study abroad activities for undergraduate students but does encourage the development of education abroad programs for U.S. undergraduate students.

USIEF does not support proposals limited to conferences or seminars organized as plenary sessions, major speakers, and panels with a passive audience. USIEF supports conferences only insofar as they are a minor part of a project and addresses salient elements of the collaborative project.

Proposal Requirements:

The project should be designed to focus on specific institutional objectives that will support the program’s goals of encouraging mutual understanding, facilitating educational reform, fostering economic development, and engaging civil society.   

To justify a request for support, proposals must demonstrate how the project will mutually benefit the participating institutions and support the Knowledge Initiative goals and achieve results. Proposals should explain how each participating department and institution will utilize the project to mutually benefit both institutions’ needs as well as larger needs in the country and society of the U.S. and India.

Accordingly, applicants should describe the needs and deficiencies as well as the capabilities and strengths of the U.S. department and institution, and how each institution will contribute to, and benefit from, the achievement of project objectives and goals.

Proposals should explain in detail how the project will enable the participating institutions to achieve specific institutional or departmental changes that will support the goals of the Knowledge Initiative.

Proposals should demonstrate that a project’s objectives are feasible to achieve within a two-year period through a series of exchange activities that take into account prevailing conditions in the United States and India.

Proposals should describe and budget a methodology for project evaluation.

Proposals should explain how project activities will be administered both in the U.S. and India in ways that will ensure that the project maintains a focus on its objectives while adjusting to changing conditions, assessments, and opportunities.

Visit our Institutionally Limited Submission webpage for updates and other announcements.

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