The U.S. Ambassadors Fund for Cultural Preservation (AFCP) 2020 LARGE GRANTS Program Funding Opportunity

Ambassadors Fund for Cultural Preservation (AFCP): Preservation of the 17th-Century Wat Chaiwatthanaram at Ayutthaya

The U.S. Ambassadors Fund for Cultural Preservation (AFCP)
2020 LARGE GRANTS Program Funding Opportunity
Public Affairs Section, U.S. Embassy, Bangkok, Thailand


The U.S. Embassy in Bangkok and the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs of the U.S. Department of State are pleased to announce the 2020 call for proposals for the U.S. Ambassadors Fund for Cultural Preservation (AFCP) Large Grants Program Funding Opportunity.

Since its inception in 2001, AFCP has helped preserve cultural sites, cultural objects, and forms of traditional cultural expression in Thailand and around the world. Cultural heritage endures as a reminder of the contributions and historical experiences of humanity. By taking a leading role in efforts to preserve cultural heritage, the U.S. shows its respect for other cultures. AFCP-supported projects include the restoration of ancient and historic buildings, assessment and conservation of rare manuscripts and museum collections, preservation and protection of important archaeological sites, and the documentation of vanishing traditional craft techniques and indigenous languages.

The application process for the AFCP Large Grants Program consists of two application rounds: Round 1 Project Abstract and Round 2 Full Application. During Round 1, applicants submit project abstracts. If, after the technical review, rating, and ranking of abstracts, selected applicant(s) will be invited to Round 2 and submit full project application(s).

Under the AFCP Large Grants Program, the minimum funding available for individual projects is US$200,000 per project and the maximum amount is US$800,000 per project. In 2019, awards ranged from US$245,000 to US$500,000. Past AFCP award recipients may submit applications for continuation funds under this opportunity. The deadline for submitting project abstracts for Round 1 is December 10, 2019.

The AFCP Large Grants Program supports the preservation of major ancient archaeological sites, historic buildings and monuments, and major museum collections that are accessible to the public and protected by law in the host country. Appropriate project activities may include:

  1. Preventive conservation (addressing conditions that damage or threaten the site)
  2. Stabilization (reducing the physical disturbance [such as settling, collapse] of a site)
  3. Conservation (addressing damage or deterioration to a collection or sites)
  4. Consolidation (connecting or reconnecting elements of a site)
  5. Anastylosis (reassembling a site from its original parts)
  6. Restoration (replacing missing elements to recreate the original appearance of a site, usually appropriate only with fine arts, decorative arts, and historic buildings)

Specific to the AFCP 2020 Large Grants Program annual competition, proposals for projects that directly support one or more of the following will receive additional consideration:

(1) Support U.S. treaty or bilateral agreement obligations
(2) Support U.S. Embassy Integrated Country Strategies
(3) Support disaster risk reduction for cultural heritage in disaster-prone areas
(4) Support post-disaster cultural heritage recovery
(5) Preserve World Heritage sites

AFCP will NOT support the following activities or costs, and applications involving any of the activities or costs below will be deemed ineligible:

A. Preservation or purchase of privately or commercially owned cultural objects, collections, or real property, including those whose transfer from private or commercial to public ownership is envisioned, planned, or in process but not complete at the time of application
B. Preservation of natural heritage (physical, biological, and geological formations, paleontological collections, habitats of threatened species of animals and plants, fossils, etc.)
C. Preservation of hominid or human remains
D. Preservation of news media (newspapers, newsreels, radio and TV programs, etc.) E. Preservation of published materials available elsewhere (books, periodicals, etc.)
F. Development of curricula or educational materials for classroom use
G. Archaeological excavations or exploratory surveys for research purposes
H. Historical research, except in cases where the research is justifiable and integral to the success of the proposed project
I. Acquisition or creation of new exhibits, objects, or collections for new or existing museums
J. Construction of new buildings, building additions, or permanent coverings (over archaeological sites, for example)
K. Commissions of new works of art or architecture for commemorative or economic development purposes
L. Creation of new or the modern adaptation of existing traditional dances, songs, chants, musical compositions, plays, or other performances
M. Creation of replicas or conjectural reconstructions of cultural objects or sites that no longer exist
N. Relocation of cultural sites from one physical location to another
O. Removal of cultural objects or elements of cultural sites from the country for any reason
P. Digitization of cultural objects or collections, unless part of a larger, clearly defined conservation or documentation effort
Q. Conservation plans or other studies, unless they are one component of a larger project to implement the results of those studies
R. Cash reserves, endowments, or revolving funds (funds must be expended within the award period [up to five years] and may not be used to create an endowment or revolving fund)
S. Costs of fund-raising campaigns
T. Contingency, unforeseen, or miscellaneous costs or fees
U. Costs of work performed prior to announcement of the award unless allowable and approved by the Grants Officer
V. International travel, except in cases where travel is justifiable and integral to the success of the proposed project
W. Travel or study outside the host country for professional development
X. Individual projects costing less than US$200,000 or more than US$800,000
Y. Independent U.S. projects overseas

There is no minimum or maximum percentage of cost participation required for this competition. When an applicant offers cost sharing, it is understood and agreed that the applicant must provide the amount of cost sharing as stipulated in its application and later included in an approved agreement. The applicant will be responsible for tracking and reporting on any cost share or outside funding. Cost sharing may be in the form of allowable direct or indirect costs.

Eligible project applicants are reputable and accountable non-commercial entities that are registered and active in and able to demonstrate that they have the requisite experience and capacity to manage projects to preserve cultural heritage. This may include non-governmental organizations, museums, ministries of culture, or similar institutions and organizations, including U.S.-based organizations subject to Section 501(c)(3) of the tax code. Past AFCP award recipients may submit applications for continuation funds under this opportunity. The AFCP will not award grants to individuals, commercial entities, or past award recipients that have not fulfilled the objectives or reporting requirements of previous AFCP awards.

Applicants must have a Dun & Bradstreet Universal Numbering System (DUNS) number, a NATO Commercial and Government Entity (NCAGE) code, and be registered in the System for Award Management (SAM) prior to submitting full applications. It is mandatory for applicants to have a DUNS and registration. Note that the DUNS/NCAGE/ process can take weeks/months, especially for non-U.S. applicants. Applicants may acquire DUNS numbers at no costs by calling the dedicated toll-free DUNS number request line 1- 866-705-5711 or by requesting a number online at Non- U.S. based applicants may request a NCAGE code at SAM is the official, free on- line registration database for the U.S. Government. collects, validates, stores, and disseminates data in support of federal agency acquisition and grant award mission. Registration in SAM is free:

Suggested guidelines for Round 1 project abstract preparation and information to be provided are below. Each project abstract must be in English and should be emailed to with the subject line: “AFCP 2020 LARGE GRANTS Program: Round 1 Project Abstract – Project Name & Applicant Nameby midnight December 10, 2019. To determine if your projects fits into the AFCP guidelines, interested applicants can email a short one-paragraph description of their projects to any time before the deadline for an initial review.

For more information, please contact Public Affairs Section of U.S. Embassy Bangkok at Tel: 02-205-4640, Email: or Ms. Kanchalee Jitjang, Senior Cultural Affairs Specialist, at Tel: 02-205-4597. For additional information about the fund, please visit the AFCP website preservation.

Suggested Information to be included in Round 1 Project Abstract
All information must be submitted in English

  1. Project basics, including title, project dates, location, and site
  2. Project applicant information (name of organization, address, phone, fax, mobile, e-mail, website), including contact information, DUNS Number, and SAM registration status
  3. Special designations (national monument, World Heritage Site, etc.)
  4. Law(s) protecting the site or collection (citations only)
  5. Project purpose that summarizes the project objectives and desired results
  6. Statement of importance highlighting the historic, architectural, artistic, or cultural (non-religious) values of the site or collection
  7. Statement of urgency indicating the severity of the situation and explaining why the project must take place now
  8. Project time frame or schedule that lists the major project phases and milestones with target dates for achieving them (Note: Applicants may propose project periods of up to 60 months [five years]; projects must begin before September 30, 2020, and conclude no later than September 30, 2025)
  9. Project participant information, including resumes or CVs of the proposed project director and key project participants
  10. Detailed project budget in US$ (no less than US$200,000 or more than US$800,000) , demarcated in one-year budget periods (2020, 2021, 2022, etc.), that lists all costs in separate categories, and indicates funds from other sources
    1) Personnel
    2)  Fringe Benefits
    3)  Travel (including Per Diem)
    4)  Equipment
    5)  Supplies
    6)  Contractual
    7)  Other Direct Costs
    8)  Indirect Costs
    9)  Non-AFCP Cost Sharing
    10) Other Funding Sources
  11. Budget narrative explaining line by line how costs were estimated (such as quantity x unit costs, annual salary x percentage of time spent on project) and any large budget line items (Note: Applicants may include narrative within the budget sheet)
  12. Justification for any anticipated international travel costs, if any
  13. Supporting documents including, at a minimum and REQUIRED, five (5) high quality digital images (JPEGs) or audiovisual files that convey the nature and condition of the site or collection and show the urgency or need for the proposed project (collapsing walls, water damage, etc.)