REQUEST FOR APPLICATIONS (RFA) IREX is inviting applicants to collaborate in the context of the Ukraine Rapid Response Fund (URRF) program

REQUEST FOR APPLICATIONS (RFA) IREX is inviting applicants to collaborate in the context of the Ukraine Rapid Response Fund (URRF) program

Closing date: June 5, 2023



The URRF program is implemented by the International Research and Exchange Board (IREX) in response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine on February 24, 2022. The program is designed to address immediate critical needs and enhance the resilience of Ukraine’s government, civil society, and civilian population. A major component of URRF is working with local organizations to identify and respond to emerging crises or distribute humanitarian aid.


Through this competition, sub-grantees, if selected, will receive funding to implement their projects that build resilience and assist Ukraine’s citizens and institutions now and as they emerge from the conflict. The amount of funding awarded and the timeline for implementation will be largely based on the specifics of the projects approved.

All proposed projects MUST be in line with URRF’s overarching goal of advancing Ukraine's resilience or addressing an immediate need created by the Russian invasion. In order to be accepted by the URRF selection committee, your proposed project MUST have a direct link to conditions caused by the ongoing war. The proposed activities within your project must be meaningful and measurable. 

The applications related to military assistance and/or aid to any military unit or authority WILL NOT BE CONSIDERED.

One organization or a consortium of organizations could submit proposals for consideration. IREX will be involved in every stage of the grant implementation.


Local partners in Ukraine are best placed to design and implement activities to meet the needs of Ukrainians. Projects must meet one of the following objectives of the URRF program:

  • Objective 1:  Rapid, flexible means to help civilians and key civil society groups avoid the worst impacts of combat operations; 
  • Objective 2:  Planning and coordination across government, between government and civil society, and between government, civil society, and external supporters to enable a more effective response;  
  • Objective 3:  Safe, secure, and effective communication on resilience-related competencies across key stakeholders to mitigate the risks and effects of operating in a closed environment; and 
  • Objective 4:  Disseminate conflict-related guidance to Ukraine’s citizens to support an effective public response and promote personal safety.  


The expected duration of IREX’s support and the period of performance is July 1, 2023 to January 31, 2024, or shorter depending on the grant proposal needs. The implementation schedule may vary depending on the needs of the program and the availability of funding. The amount of funding awarded and the timeline for implementation will be largely based on the specifics of the projects approved.

This request for concept notes does not commit IREX to pay any costs incurred in the preparation of a concept note not funded or contracted for the services or supplies described herein. IREX reserves the right to fund any or none of the projects submitted. Further, IREX reserves the right to make no awards as a result of this RFA.




  • Must be operating in Ukraine
  • Funding will be granted to Ukrainian NGOs only who are registered by Ukrainian law and working in compliance with Ukrainian laws.
  • NGOs must have a non-profit status.
  • NGOs and their members cannot represent or be affiliated with any political party or with appointed or elected officials.
  • U.S. or other third-country organizations and individuals are not eligible to apply for grants.
  • Meet the project’s objectives and principles.
  • Contain expected outcomes and results consistent with and linked to the projects objectives.
  • Applicant is not a debarred organization.
  • Applications must be submitted in Ukrainian or English.
  • Project dates may not exceed the date listed in the RFA.  


Cost share is not required.


The applicant / application must meet the following requirements:

  • Have a positive NGO work experience, including experience of cooperation with international donor organizations.
  • Experience in successful social project implementation.
  • Have a clear vision of project implementation and be focused on sustainable and long-term project results.
  • Have an organized team that will implement the project.
  • Be able to work within a certain time frame.
  • Provide all necessary documents for participation in the competition (list of documents see Annex 1)
  • The previous experience of work with the conflict affected areas and/or conflict affected population will be an asset


  • Sub-grant funds provided under the terms of this RFA shall not be used to procure goods or services from suppliers that may be identified on the USG consolidated list of debarred, suspended or ineligible subcontractors at or any “watch lists”.
  • Any purchases or activities deemed unnecessary to successfully complete the activity, including any sub-grantee headquarters’ expenses that are not directly linked to the implementation of the proposed project.
  • Previous obligations and/or bad debts.
  • Fines and /or penalties.
  • Gambling.
  • International travel costs.
  • Other costs unallowable as referenced 2 CFR 200 Subpart E Cost Principles.
  • Please note that recipients of funds must comply with several grant management and reporting requirements, such as adhering to IREX and funder policies, documenting and submitting proof of project activities, and regularly measuring and reporting on project implementation and results. IREX recommends that applicants consider the time and resources needed to address these requirements when designing their project activities and budgets. 

The following categories of goods are eligible, but not limited to:

  • Printing and publishing: training/promo materials (printed or recorded information you plan to use in a training program), flyers, banners, etc., including fees for development of the design.
  • Office supplies.
  • Small inventory supplies (up to 500 USD) Equipment: the applicant can request equipment that is within the budget of the Small Grants Competition that is justified by activities and is sustainable.
  • Administrative costs (not more than 10% of the budget).
  • Consultants’ fees.
  • National travel costs.
  • Programs intended for the growth or institutional development of the organization.
  • Other expenses related to the project
  • COVID-19 “covered materials”
  • Bank fees (including opening and closing of the special account/subaccount and all bank fees related to the project) (for CSOs or media organizations).

The following expenses WILL NOT BE COVERED:

  • Internet connection expenses.
  • Maintenance and renovation expenditures.
  • Charity or support for political parties.
  • Lobbying support for religious activities.
  • Loans.
  • Alcoholic beverages.
  • Any costs supported by applicants before and after the project implementation.
  • Large items of durable equipment or construction programs.
  • Organizations with affiliation to elected officials, political parties, or religious groups.
  • Political or partisan activities.
  • Activities that take place outside of Ukraine.
  • Scientific research.
  • Purchase or lease of land and/or buildings.
  • Venture capital, for-profit endeavors, or charging a fee for participation in the project.
  • Individual scholarships.
  • Gifts or prizes.

*All goods required within the project must be justified by activities. If your requested good/item is questionable, please contact URRF. The URRF program has the right to revise the requested goods/services, check the quality of and reject/approve the goods or services.

All goods and services must be calculated/budgeted and procured with VAT 0%. More details about this will be offered to the selected applicants for the implementation of the projects.




Applications for funding will be a two-stage process. To be considered for this funding opportunity, please provide the following information in the form of the project proposal and the budget. One organization or a consortium of organizations could submit maximum two project proposals for consideration.  

Submit your project proposal together with the budget via email to and subject line “URRF Grant.” You must use subject line “URRF Grant” to be considered.


Please note that IREX strongly encourages interested organizations to closely read all the instructions and guidance in this document.

Pre-award costs are not allowable and will not be reimbursed.


Any questions concerning technical issues when submission should be sent via e-mail Please note, that IREX does not accept any questions concerning this RFA except to resolve technical issues.




The application will be evaluated according to the evaluation criteria set below. 

The evaluation will be conducted in two stages. During the first stage, a concept of the proposed projects and its budget will be evaluated. Evaluation committee will meet and discuss proposed project proposals and the budget.

Each member of the committee will assign scores to select proposals that best meet technical merit criteria: 

Technical Merit and Cost Effectiveness 30 points:

  • Relevance to program goals  
  • Sustainability of project results  
  • Anticipated impact on the beneficiaries 
  • Target audience outreach 
  • Evidence-based approach 

Budget Feasibility 30 points 

  • Are costs reasonable, allowable, and allocable? 

Past Performance 30 points:

  • Past performance in similar projects  
  • Relevant staff skills to the proposed project 

Organizational Capacity 10 points 

  • Written accounting and procurement procedures.
  • Capacity to adhere to DOS financial guidelines.
  • Capacity to submit reports required.  
  • Capacity to appoint at least 1 full-time staff person who will be coordinating this initiative on behalf of this organization with IREX 

Maximum 100 points in total. Only those applications that will be selected in the first stage based on the technical merit will be evaluated in the second stage that include interviews with the selected applicants.




The recommendation or selection of a project proposal in accordance with established procedures does not guarantee an award.  All applicants must demonstrate that they possess, or have the ability to obtain, the necessary management competence to practice mutually agreed upon methods of accountability for funds and other assets provided. 

A successful applicant can expect to receive an Award Letter via e-mail. The award letter will be addressed to the organization’s point of contact as stated in the concept note. IREX will notify only successful awardees of the selection process.

Following the Award Letter, final negotiations will take place before the signing of a sub-grant agreement.


A description of reporting requirements will be included in the Sub-Grant Agreement.  The types of reporting required, along with the schedule of reporting, will depend on the sub-grant type and project duration.  Reporting forms will be provided to sub-grant recipients. 

Types of reporting will include the following:

  • Program report to be submitted during project implementation according to a schedule described in the sub-grant agreement.  This report will include a description of progress made during the period, problems in project implementation; actions taken to overcome them; and activities planned for the next period.  
  • Final program report will describe how the project objectives and goals were reached, results of the project, and problems and solutions during implementation.
  • Financial reports may be submitted based on award type. The schedule of reporting will depend on the type of sub-grant, length of the project, and amount of funding.



Issuance of this RFA does not constitute an award or commitment on the part of IREX, nor does it commit the Ukraine Rapid Response Fund program/IREX to pay for costs incurred in the preparation and submission of an application.

IREX reserves the right to fund any or none of the applications submitted. Further, IREX reserves the right to make no awards as a result of this RFA.

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