U.S. Embassy Seoul PD Small Grants Program

u.s. embassy

Relevent Country: South Korea

The U.S. Embassy Seoul Public Diplomacy Section (PD) of the U.S. Department of State is pleased to announce that funding is available through its Public Diplomacy Small Grants Program.

Purpose of Small Grants: PD Seoul invites proposals for programs that strengthen ties between the United States and the Republic of Korea (ROK) through programming that highlights shared values and promotes bilateral cooperation. All programs must include an American element, or connection with American experts, organizations, or institutions in a field that will promote increased understanding of U.S. policy and perspectives.

Successful proposals will strengthen the capacity of Korean civil society organizations and individuals in order build sustainable activities that advance U.S.-ROK ties. Proposals may include requests for international travel and related costs of experts, speakers and key individuals in support of broader activities. However, participant exchanges should not be the exclusive program activity. Program activities should take place primarily in Korea or have strong justifications for activities in the U.S. or third countries.

PD Small Grants Program priorities include, but are not limited to:

  • Academic and professional lectures, seminars and speaker programs;
  • Professional and academic exchanges and programs;
  • Youth leadership development exchanges and programs;
  • Capacity building programs for grassroots civil society groups;
  • Activities that focus on areas and audiences outside of the Seoul metropolitan region.

Program Areas

  • Programs between the United States and the Korea that build the capacity of organizations or individuals focused on the promotion and protection of human rights, the rule of law and civic participation either domestically or internationally. Applications should focus on developing the capacity of organizations or individuals to define a mission statement, fundraise, manage finances, promote effective advocacy and civic engagement, launch public awareness campaigns, monitor and evaluate programming, and other skills as appropriate.
  • Programs that encourage meaningful discussion amongst either youth, academics, or established professionals in the United States, the Republic of Korea, and Japan on issues of importance to the trilateral relationship such as regional security protection and architecture; climate change and sustainability; international aid coordination and prioritization; economic growth and trade; economic security and supply chain resiliency; civilian space research and cooperation; pandemic response and public health; youth empowerment and global leadership; global affairs and volunteerism; and other issues as appropriate.
  • Programs building ties and understanding between Korean, U.S., and regional climate activists and leaders  to help countries meet pollution reduction goals; promote sustainable local development; enhance the capacity of independent grassroots environmental groups; build connections between the ROK and other regional environmental activist groups and/or journalists (especially those from natural resource exporting nations in ASEAN); raise youth awareness of climate issues; mediate conflicts arising due to environmental degradation; build capacity and networks of climate-focused social enterprises; and other related issues as appropriate. Priority will be given to proposals that include audiences from both within and outside of the Seoul Metropolitan Region.
  • Programs to highlight the 70th Anniversary of the U.S.-Korea Mutual Defense Treaty, with a particular focus on exploring the future of the comprehensive security, trade, scientific, and people-to-people cooperation. Applications should include public campaigns and engagements that demonstrate the connection between the comprehensive bilateral alliance and Koreans’ daily lives and livelihoods.

Funding Information

  • Length of performance period: 1 to 12 months
  • Number of awards anticipated: 3 – 10 awards (dependent on amounts)
  • Award amounts: awards may range from a minimum of $1,000 to a maximum of $100,000, with typical grants expected in the $25,000 range.
  • Total available funding: $300,000

Participants and Audiences

  • Participants should reflect the United States government’s commitment to diversity, inclusion, equity, and accessibility
  • Participants can range from high school and university-aged youth to established professionals who are active in civil society groups focused on the following areas:
  • LGBQTI+ or other gender minority rights
  • Disability rights and accessibility
  • Human rights (global or domestic)
  • Support for DPRK defector communities
  • Mitigating gender conflict or providing support for victims of gender-based violence
  • Religious diversity and interfaith understanding
  • Support for other marginalized communities
  • Participants should reflect the United States government’s commitment to diversity, inclusion, equity, and accessibility
  • Emerging youth voices (aged 18-29) from the Republic of Korea, Japan, and United States with major fields of study, research topics and/or careers related to the issues listed and/or other issues affecting the trilateral relationship.
  • Established professionals from the Republic of Korea, Japan, and United States with academic expertise and/or careers related to the issues listed and/or other issues affecting the trilateral relationship.
  • Participants should reflect the United States government’s commitment to diversity, inclusion, equity, and accessibility
  • Youth members of climate and sustainability-focused civil society or other independent activist groups
  • Key influencers, including but not limited to journalists, civil society leaders, academics, regulators, legislative aides, and members of regional governments
  • Participants should reflect the United States government’s commitment to diversity, inclusion, equity, and accessibility
  • Key influencers, including but not limited to journalists, civil society leaders, academics, youth interested in issues relevant to the comprehensive bilateral alliance including:
  • Trade and shared economic security
  • Economic cooperation in critical industries (semiconductors, electric vehicles, computing, space, etc.)
  • Indo-Pacific security and stability
  • Support for Ukraine
  • Economic development in the global south
  • Technological research and development
  • Democratic shared values and press freedom
  • Cross-cultural exchange and the cultural economy
  • Other issues as appropriate

Eligibility Criteria

  • The Public Diplomacy Section encourages applications from U.S. and ROK organizations and individuals.
  • Registered not-for-profit organizations, including think tanks and civil society/nongovernmental organizations with programming experience
  • Individuals (when applying as an individual, please note that only ‘Direct Costs’ are allowed and allocable, e.g., travel expenses for the applicant, small amounts of program materials)
  • Non-profit or governmental educational institutions
  • Foreign Public Entities (FPE) for example: Public International Organizations and Governmental institutions)

Ineligibility Criteria

  • The following types of programs are not eligible for funding:
  • Programs relating to partisan political activity;
  • Programs intended primarily for the exchange of participants between the U.S. and Korea.
  • Charitable or development activities;
  • Construction programs;
  • Programs that support specific religious activities;
  • Fund-raising campaigns;
  • Lobbying for specific legislation or programs
  • Scientific research;
  • Programs intended primarily for the growth or institutional development of the organization; or
  • Programs that duplicate existing programs.

Source: https://kr.usembassy.gov/012023-grant-opportunity-pd-seoul-fy23-01-rok-nofo-small-grants-program/