Egypt USAID-Cairo -- Centers of Excellence

Funding Agency:
US Agency for International Development

The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) is seeking applications for a cooperative agreement from qualified U.S. colleges and universities to fund a program entitled Centers of Excellence (COE). Eligibility for this award is restricted to U.S. colleges and universities. 

The Centers of Excellence (COE) activity was designed by USAID and the Ministry of Higher Education and Scientific Research (MOHESR) to support Egypt’s economic development by establishing “partnerships for human and institutional capacity building between higher education institutions in the United States and developing countries.1 ” The COEs will strengthen the capacity of Egyptian universities to respond to changing public and private sector needs for applied research and skilled graduates in the sectors of agriculture, water and energy. As the Government of Egypt (GOE) body responsible for funding, overseeing, regulating, and accrediting higher education efforts in Egypt and ensuring the quality of higher education nationwide, MOHESR seeks through this project to build upon ongoing USG-supported efforts to strengthen higher education access and quality in key technical fields. Specifically, USAID and MOHESR intend to create a sustainable model for market driven university education in an environment that fosters scholarship supported equitable access for women, persons with disabilities, and academically qualified, yet financially needy students.

Each COE will form public-private partnerships and interest-specific networks that will bring together the best minds in academia, government and the business community to seek applied research solutions that strengthen the effectiveness of policy-making and drive innovation, competitiveness and economic growth in these key sectors. The project will equip Egyptian universities to provide access to higher education to qualified undergraduate students who are financially needy. The project will also improve the working relationship between universities and industry to support applied research and to increase the quality of faculty without relying entirely on public or donor financing. In an effort to systemically transform teaching, research, and institutional relationships, the COE project will provide an approach and a model to strengthen higher education that can be replicated in other sectors and at other universities.

The overall goal of the COE project is to substantially improve the capacity of Egypt’s higher education institutions to drive public and private sector innovation, modernization and competitiveness, strengthen government policy to stimulate economic growth, and contribute solutions to Egypt’s development challenges in the key sectors of agriculture, water and energy. Specifically, the COE project is designed to meet these objectives by strengthening university capacity to deliver relevant, high quality applied research; engaging government stakeholders in dialogue to advance evidence- based policy making; and training highly skilled graduates to meet the evolving needs of industry, government and their communities, and to Egypt’s development challenges.

Deadline: Aug. 9, 2018

Agency Website

Eligibility Requirements

U.S. Colleges and Universities: Qualified U.S. Colleges and Universities (including minority serving institutions, community colleges, and women’s colleges) may apply for USAID funding under this NOFO. USG and USAID regulations generally treat U.S. colleges and universities as NGOs, rather than governmental organizations; hence, both U.S. public and private colleges and universities are eligible. Consortia of U.S. colleges and universities or U.S. university associations are encouraged to apply. 



Amount Description

Subject to funding availability, USAID intends to provide $90 million in total USAID funding over a five year period in up to three Cooperative Agreements pursuant to this notice of funding opportunity. The estimated range per award is $25-$30 million. Actual funding amounts are subject to availability of funds. USAID reserves the right to fund any one or none of the applications submitted. 

Funding Type





Curriculum Development
International Opportunities
Social Sciences

External Deadline

August 9, 2018