The U.S. Department of State Announced the Alumni Engagement Innovation Fund 2017 Competition

Alumni Engagement Innovation Fund 2017

The U.S. Department of State created the Alumni Engagement Innovation Fund (AEIF) in 2011 to support alumni initiatives that promote shared values and innovative solutions to global challenges. The competition provides small grants to teams of past and current participants of U.S. government-sponsored exchange programs to carry out public service projects utilizing the skills and knowledge gained during their exchange experiences. Since its inception, the AEIF has supported more than 300 alumni-led initiatives around the world, and reached millions of people both directly and indirectly through trainings, awareness campaigns, and leadership and empowerment initiatives. In 2016, 61 grants of up to $25,000 were awarded to alumni teams worldwide to support their public service projects.

Alumni are invited to submit project ideas through the International Exchange Alumni (IEA) website from March 2-30, 2017.


  • Thursday, March 2: The AEIF competition begins at 12:00 pm noon ET (U.S. Eastern Time). Alumni may start submitting proposals and budgets.
  • Thursday, March 30: Deadline for AEIF Proposals and Budget Forms is 12:00 pm noon ET (U.S. Eastern Time). This is the final and only deadline, so make sure you identify your three team members and submit your final project proposals in before the deadline, no exceptions.
  • July: AEIF 2017 Winning Projects Announced!


  • Alumni must be verified members of the International Exchange Alumni (IEA) global online community and form teams of at least three (3) IEA community members (this number includes the team leader).
  • Alumni who are U.S. citizens may not submit proposals. However, they may participate as team members in a project.
  • All project activities and initiatives must take place outside of the United States.
  • Proposed projects must address one of the five AEIF themes below.

An individual alumnus/a can submit more than one proposal, but should not submit more than one proposal per theme. Alumni are welcome to submit projects that involve partnerships across borders and activities in multiple countries.

Log in to check out the updated AEIF Helpdesk and get a sneak peek of the AEIF proposal and budget forms. You can also view sample proposals and budgets and guides to help build your project.

Don’t wait to start building your project proposal! We are giving you all the information you need to get this done before the deadline! Need some inspiration for your project? Log in to view the 2016 winners.


  • Business Development and Economic Opportunity
  • Civic Participation: Building Resilient Communities
  • Cooperation in Science, Technology, Health, and Energy
  • Education and Inclusion: Pathways to Success
  • Empowerment of Women and Girls


Business Development and Economic Opportunity

Includes activities that promote or develop best practices in business, as well as enhance the employability of youth or under-represented groups. These activities may include skills training, building awareness of existing job resources, providing information on business development, or promoting job creation through entrepreneurship. Proposals to create for-profit businesses or to directly employ people are not supported through this program.

Civic Participation: Building Resilient Communities

Includes projects and/or activities that support and promote active citizen participation, or observation of the governmental/political process at the local, state, or federal level, freedom of expression and freedom of the press. Community service projects that encompass the spirit of volunteerism to address a local challenge are also acceptable. Proposals that help communities build resilience in times of destabilization are also competitive. Projects that support or oppose partisan political activity are not supported.

Cooperation in Science, Technology, Health, and Energy

Includes activities that raise awareness or provide training in health and technology, science, or energy efficiency. Projects that promote access to clean water, public health, food security, recycling programs, use of technology for job preparation are also acceptable. Proposals to provide direct social services (i.e medicine) to a population will not be supported through this program.

Education and Inclusion: Pathways to Success

Includes activities that promote an equal opportunity to education or that promote mentoring programs such as science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) or English language. Proposals that provide positive alternatives for under-represented groups (people with disabilities, minorities, or those who are susceptible to trafficking, among others), are competitive.

Empowerment of Women and Girls

Includes activities that enhance or support women’s and girls’ equal access to the political process.


Team Exchange Alumni made several enhancements to AEIF to make the competition a smoother process this year.

  • This year, the AEIF proposal form will be hosted on a third-party platform, FluidReview.
  • To participate in AEIF, you must log into the International Exchange Alumni site (IEA), then go to, and click on the “Apply for AEIF” button. This will take you to the designated AEIF application on FluidReview where you may begin the proposal form. Only by signing into IEA and navigating to the new platform will you be able to successfully participate in the AEIF competition and submit your proposal and budget. We will not accept proposals and budgets sent via email.
  • Unlike in previous AEIF competitions, you can only see the proposal that you submit. Other IEA members (including team members on your project) are unable to see your project on the FluidReview site unless you send them a file of your project.
  • In order to successfully submit your proposals, you must fill out the entire online form and attach the budget. Once submitted, you may no longer make changes to the form.
    Winners will be announced later than in previous years. After the submission deadline (March 30), all eligible proposals will be reviewed and evaluated and projects selected for funding will be announced in July.
  • AEIF teams must include at least three alumni who are registered on the IEA website. This number includes the team leader.