Call for Project Proposals: 2019 Media Professionalization Assistance Program

This call for project proposals is now closed.




Notice of Funding Opportunity

Funding Opportunity Title:             2019 Media Professionalization Assistance Program

Deadline for Applications:               until 17:00 local time, April 15, 2019

CFDA Number:                                19.900

Award floor:                                      $20,000

Award ceiling:                                   $50,000



The United States Embassy in Montenegro, acting through the Public Affairs Office, is pleased to announce an open competition for assistance awards, subject to the availability of funds, through this NOTICE OF FUNDING OPPORTUNITY (NOFO) for the following program:

Media Professionalization Assistance Program


Purpose of the Program

The United States Embassy in Podgorica plans to support specific projects and initiatives that facilitate the development of media freedom and journalistic professional standards in Montenegro through grant awards ranging from $20,000 – $50,000.   Grants will be awarded to media or civil society/non-governmental organizations registered in Montenegro that adhere to high professional standards in their reporting and have a record of trustworthiness and success.  Proposals will be evaluated according to the ability of the applying organization to carry out a project with clearly formulated goals that benefits the intended beneficiaries and has the greatest positive impact.

This initiative aims to support the following types of activities:

  1. Programs that raise the professional standards of journalism in Montenegro. Our goal is to support independent and fact-based journalism, including current journalists and students aspiring to a career in media.
  2. Media literacy and critical thinking projects aimed at helping citizens, especially youth, recognize, analyze, and ultimately reject disinformation.
  3. Investigative journalism projects that support reforms necessary for Montenegro’s continued Euro-Atlantic integration. Ares of focus include (but are not limited to) the following topics:
    1. The rule of law
    2. The strengthening of democratic institutions
    3. Human and minority rights
    4. Sustainable development
    5. Entrepreneurship

The deadline for submission of proposals is Monday, April 15, 2019 by 17:00 p.m.


How to Apply?

Qualified organizations may apply to the Media Professionalization Assistance Program no later than April 15, 2019 at 17:00 local time.  Please submit completed applications and all supporting documentation to PodgoricaGrants@State.Gov.  Upon submission of an application, you will receive a confirmation.  Please note that all organizations must use the application form.  We will not consider applications that fail to use this form, nor will we consider applications that do not meet the minimum standards listed in the guidelines below.

Guidelines for Application

  • The maximum grant period is one year.
  • Project proposals must be completed in English and should not be more than seven pages long.
  • Project proposals should include all of the information requested in the Application Form.
  • Amounts in the project budget must be in U.S. dollars and should include local taxes.  Important note: Costs incurred before the grant period start date will not be reimbursed.
  • Project budgets should only include expenses incurred in the territory of Montenegro.
  • The project budget should include bank charges.

IMPORTANT! Organizations may only submit one proposal per program.

If your proposal does not meet the requirements listed below, it will not be considered.

  1. Attachments :
  • 1-page CV or resume of key personnel who are proposed for the program
  • Letters of support from program partners describing the roles and responsibilities of each partner
  • Detailed budget (follow Application Guidelines)
  1. Required Registrations:

Any applicant listed on the Excluded Parties List System (EPLS) in the System for Award Management (SAM) is not eligible to apply for an assistance award in accordance with the OMB guidelines at 2 CFR 180 that implement Executive Orders 12549 (3 CFR, 1986 Comp., p. 189) and 12689 (3 CFR, 1989 Comp., p. 235), “Debarment and Suspension.” Additionally, no entity listed on the EPLS can participate in any activities under an award.  All applicants are strongly encouraged to review the EPLS in SAM to ensure that no ineligible entity is included.

In order to be qualified for grants, selected organizations must obtain these registrations.  All are free of charge:

  • Unique entity identifier from Dun & Bradstreet (DUNS number)
  • NCAGE code
  • registration

Step 1: Apply for a DUNS number and a NCAGE number (these can be completed simultaneously)

DUNS application: Organizations must have a Data Universal Numbering System (DUNS) number from Dun & Bradstreet. If your organization does not have one already, you may obtain one by calling 1-866-705-5711 or visiting

NCAGE application: Application page here:

Instructions for the NCAGE application process:

Step 2: After receiving the NCAGE Code, proceed to register in by logging onto:  SAM registration must be renewed annually.

The following projects or costs are ineligible for funding:

  • More than one proposal per theme submitted by an organization.
  • Projects relating to partisan political activity.
  • Conferences and individual trips abroad.
  • Charitable activity and humanitarian aid.
  • Fundraising campaigns.
  • Commercial projects.
  • Scientific research.
  • Individuals not affiliated with an organization that can provide long-term sustainability to the project.
  • Those that duplicate existing projects.
  • Miscellaneous costs are ineligible.
  • Projects including entertainment and alcoholic beverage expenses are ineligible.

Evaluation Criteria

The U.S. Embassy will review proposals for the Media Professionalization Assistance Program.  The Embassy reserves the right to consult with other donor institutions and countries that provide financial support for projects promoting media freedom and journalistic professional standards in Montenegro.

We will use the following general criteria to evaluate all submitted grant proposals:

  • The project proposal demonstrates that the organization has sufficient expertise, skills and human resources to implement the project.
  • The organization demonstrates that it has a clear understanding of the underlying issue. The organization has identified appropriate beneficiaries or target groups.
  • The project has a clear focus and manageable scope.
  • The project is innovative yet the proposed project activities are concrete and detailed and supported by a reasonable work plan.
  • The project’s budget is well organized, detailed, and reasonable.
  • The organization has clearly articulated how it will assess and measure project performance using both quantitative and qualitative assessment tools.
  • The proposal describes the approach that will be used to ensure maximum sustainability of the project’s results after its completion.
  • Note: Incomplete, lengthy, and unclear applications will not be considered.

How to Apply

Use the Application Guidelines and Application Form below: