Background on the Competition

The 2015 Alumni Engagement Innovation Fund provides the opportunity for you, the current and past participants of U.S. government-sponsored exchange programs, to compete to win up to $25,000 to support your innovative idea!


Competing alumni have from February 3 to February 24, 2015 to submit their project proposal and to build a team of at least 5 current or former exchange participants. Note: U.S. citizens are not eligible to submit project proposals — U.S. citizens can be team members, but because awards are distributed through U.S. Embassies and activities must be carried out abroad, no U.S. citizen can serve as a team leader on any project.


From February 25 to March 10, 2015, Department of State staff will review all proposals and selected those that will move to the finalist phase of the competition.

Phase 2: Finalist Projects Competition and Voting

  • Finalist project proposals will be announced on March 10, 2015.
  • From March 10 to March 31, 2015, finalist teams will refine their proposals and International Exchange Alumni members may vote on their favorite projects.
  • Alumni votes count! Alumni votes will count as a “panelist in absentia” when the Department of State voting panel meets to select the winning projects.
  • A Department of State voting panel will review all finalist proposals and announce the winning projects on May 11.


Projects must address issues under one of eight project categories:

  • Empowering Women and Girls
  • Social Inclusion of Vulnerable Populations
  • Entrepreneurship and Youth Employment
  • Access to Education
  • Climate Change and Environmental Protection
  • Global Health Awareness
  • Civic Participation
  • Conflict Resolution

Review the explanation for each category and review tips to build a strong project proposal in the Commonly Asked Questions section.

Further Information on the Fund can be found out at

The Irish US Alumni has a few members who have made the finals of this award before. Please reach out to Katie in the Embassy or to Chris in the Membership team to get the most from the entering and progressing with these awards.

Chris can be found at