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1 Terms of Reference- Invitation to tender 1. Background Information 1.1 About the British Council The British Council is the United Kingdom s international organisation for cultural relations and educational opportunities. Its purpose is to build engagement and trust for the UK through the exchange of knowledge and ideas between people worldwide. It seeks to achieve its aims by working in education, science, governance, English and the arts. In , its programmes reached a total audience of 550 million people worldwide and we engaged directly with 10.8 million. The British Council was established in 1934 and incorporated by Royal Charter in It is registered as a charity in England and Wales (charity no ) and Scotland (charity no. SCO37733). It is also an executive non-departmental public body, with the Foreign and Commonwealth Office as its sponsoring department. Its primary charitable objects are set out in the Charter and are stated to be: Promote cultural relationships and the understanding of different cultures between people and peoples of the United Kingdom and other countries; Promote a wider knowledge of the United Kingdom; Develop a wider knowledge of the English language; Encourage cultural, scientific, technological and other educational co-operation between the United Kingdom and other countries; Otherwise promote the advancement of education. In 2012 to 2013, the British Council had a total turnover of 781 million. Its income included a grant-aid of 171 million from the UK government, 490 million from fees and income from services such as English teaching, exams administration and the management of client-funded contracts, and funding from a wide range of public and private sector partners. 1

2 The British Council works in more than 110 countries around the world and employs over 7000 staff worldwide. It has its headquarters in the UK, with offices in London, Manchester, Belfast, Cardiff and Edinburgh. Further information can be found at Conditions and contractual requirements The Contracting Authority is the British Council which includes any subsidiary companies and other organisations that control or are controlled by the British Council from time to time. The appointed supplier will be expected to travel to British Council offices in Mexico City, London or Manchester as required, in the delivery of the services. The contract awarded will be for duration of 7 months. The appointed supplier will only process personal data accessed in performance of the services in accordance with the British Council s instructions and will not use such data for any other purpose. The contracted supplier will undertake to process any personal data on the British Council s behalf in accordance with the relevant provisions of the Data Protection Act 1998 and ensure appropriate and legislative consent is acquired where necessary. The British Council is committed to equality and to positive action to promote this. It believes that an Equal Opportunities Policy helps to ensure that there is no unjustified discrimination in the recruitment, retention, training and development of staff on the basis of gender including transgender, marital status, sexual identify, region and belief, political opinion, race, work pattern, age, disability or HIV/AIDS status, socioeconomic background, spent convictions, trade union activity or membership, on the basis of having or not having dependents, or any other relevant grounds. The appointed supplier must agree to operate in accordance with these principles while undertaking work at or on behalf of the British Council. The British Council is committed to open government and to meeting its legal responsibilities under the Freedom of Information Act 2000 (the 2

3 Act ). Accordingly, all information submitted to a public authority may need to be disclosed by the public authority in response to a request under the Act. The British Council may also decide to include certain information in the publication scheme, which the British Council maintains under the Act. If suppliers considers that any of the information included in their completed documentation is commercially sensitive, it should identify it and explain (in broad terms) what harm may result from disclosure if a request is received, and the time period applicable to that sensitivity. The suppliers should be aware that, even where they have indicated that information is commercially sensitive, the British Council might be required to disclose it under the Act if a request is received. The suppliers should also note that the receipt of any material marked confidential or equivalent by the British Council should not be taken to mean that the British Council accepts any duty of confidence by virtue of that marking. The supplier will comply with all applicable legislation and codes of practice, including, where applicable, all legislation and statutory guidance relevant to the safeguarding and protection of children and vulnerable adults and with the British Council s Child Protection Policy; in addition the supplier will ensure that where it engages any other party to supply any of the services under this agreement that that party will also comply with the same requirements as if they were a party to this agreement. All relevant policies that suppliers are expected to adhere to can be found on the British Council website The list of policies includes (but it is not limited to): Anti-Fraud and Corruption Child Protection Policy Equal Opportunities Policy Fair Trading Health and Safety Policy Environmental Policy Records Management Privacy 3

4 Mandatory due diligence and discretionary rejection information will form part of your response to this ITT. You are requested to complete Annex 1 Mandatory Information as part of your response. The British Council s contracting and commercial approach in respect of the required services is set out at Annex 3 Draft Contract (the Contract ). By submitting a tender, you are agreeing to be bound by the terms of this ITT and the Contract without further negotiation or amendment. If the terms of the Contract render the proposals in your tender unworkable, you should submit a clarification in accordance with Section 11 Clarification Questions of this ITT by November 19 th 2014 and the British Council will consider whether any amendment to the Contract is required. Any amendments shall be published prior to the deadline for the submission of bids and shall apply to all tenderers. Any amendments which are proposed but not approved by the British Council through this process will not be acceptable and may be construed as a rejection of the terms leading to the disqualification of the tender. This document does not constitute an offer to provide goods and/or services to the British Council. You are responsible for obtaining all information necessary for preparation of the tender and for all costs and expenses incurred in preparation of your tender response. Subject to the final paragraph of this section, you accept by your participation in this procurement, including without limitation the submission of a tender, that you will not be entitled to claim from the British Council any costs, expenses or liabilities that you may incur in tendering for this procurement irrespective of whether or not your tender is successful. By issuing this ITT, entering into the clarifications with tenderers or by having any other form of communication with tenderers, the British Council is not bound in any way to enter into any contractual or other arrangement with you or any other tenderer. It is intended that the remainder of this procurement will take place in accordance with the provisions of this ITT but the British Council reserves the right to terminate, amend or vary the process by notice to all tenderers in writing. Subject to the final paragraph 4

5 of this Section 3, the British Council will have no liability for any losses, costs or expenses caused to you as a result of such termination, amendment or variation. Nothing in this ITT or any other documentation issued by the British Council in connection with this procurement is intended to exclude or limit the liability of the British Council in relation to fraud or in other circumstances where the British Council s liability may not be limited under any applicable law. The British Council reserves the right to request reference information. 1.3 Confidentiality requirement All information contained within this document is confidential and is provided only to give suppliers an adequate understanding of the British Council s requirements and under no circumstances should be disclosed to a third party without the British Council s consent. The contents of this ITT are being made available by the British Council on condition that: Tenderers shall at all times treat the contents of the ITT and any related documents (together called the Information ) as confidential, save in so far as they are already in the public domain; Tenderers shall not disclose, copy, reproduce, distribute or pass any of the Information to any other person at any time; Tenderers shall not use any of the Information for any purpose other than for the purposes of submitting (or deciding whether to submit) a Tender; and Tenderers shall not undertake any publicity activity within any section of the media. Tenderers may disclose, distribute or pass any of the Information to the Tenderer s advisers, sub-contractors or to another person provided that either: This is done for the sole purpose of enabling a Tender to be submitted and the person receiving the Information undertakes 5

6 in writing to keep the Information confidential on the same terms as if that person were the Tenderer; or The Tenderer obtains the prior written consent of the British Council in relation to such disclosure, distribution or passing of Information; or The disclosure is made for the sole purpose of obtaining legal advice from external lawyers in relation to the procurement or to any Framework Agreement arising from it; or The Tenderer is legally required to make such a disclosure. In relation to the above the definition of person includes but is not limited to any person, firm, body or association, corporate or incorporate. The British Council may disclose detailed information relating to Tenders to its officers, employees, agents or advisers and the British Council may make any of the contractual documents available for private inspection by its officers, employees, agents or advisers. The British Council also reserves the right to disseminate information that is materially relevant to the procurement to all Tenderers, even if the information has only been requested by one Tenderer, subject to the duty to protect each Tenderer's commercial confidentiality in relation to its Tender (unless there is a requirement for disclosure under the Freedom of Information Act). 1.4 Proposal Validity Your response should remain open for acceptance for a period of 60 days. A response valid for a shorter period may be rejected. 1.5 Payment and Invoicing The Council will pay correctly addressed and undisputed invoices within 30 days. The essential information on an invoice for the Council is: A description of the services supplied. The Council reference number/purchase Order number. Addressed to Accounts Payable. The costs including VAT (if applicable) and any other charges 6

7 2. Summary of this Requirement 2.1 About the Research The British Council wishes to commission an agency to conduct the research as described in this Request for Proposals and to deliver the outputs as described in section 4. The primary aim of this research is to identify what skills or abilities Mexican students are lacking when they start university and what interventions might be effective to fill this gap. In order to do this, we would like to consider the experiences of different countries and particularly of the UK. This project is one in a series of research projects have been developed in the Americas region as an attempt to further explore some of the issues raised at the British Council s Going Global conference in Miami in April 2014 ( ) and is intended to contribute to the programme for Going Global Going Global offers an open forum for policy makers and practitioners from around the world to discuss issues facing the international education community. Since its inception in 2004, Going Global has grown from a bi-annual event in the UK to an annual event that alternates between the UK and a different international location. Each year it attracts over 1000 delegates from across the further and higher education sectors and a variety of other industries with perspectives on international education. Separate research projects will be conducted in Mexico, Brazil, Chile and Colombia. A fifth project will be conducted at the regional level. At Going Global 2014 several speakers highlighted the fact that secondary schools did not adequately prepare students for universities. In order to contribute to Going Global 2015, we would like the research to consider what skills or abilities might be necessary for different subjects, and the different needs of higher education systems around the world. 2.2 Research Question The research project in Mexico will explore the need to link secondary school learning outcomes to higher education (post compulsory education) needs, and possible mechanisms to accomplish this. 7

8 It should attempt to address the research question: What skills or abilities are necessary for students to be adequately prepared for higher education and how can they acquire these? Though we are open to innovative proposals, we expect any proposal to address both the academic skills necessary for students to succeed in higher education and the soft skills, or life skills, which are also necessary. 2.3 Suggested approach We expect the successful agency to submit a proposal that reflects the global scope of the British Council whilst simultaneously ensuring that the research is relevant to the local Mexican context. As such, we recommend an approach that draws on the following four elements: A quantitative analysis that provides a clear picture of international dynamics and trends. This analysis is not expected to be exhaustive, but to provide an accurate summary of different approaches and the effects of these. A focused qualitative element identifying four of five countries who have implemented particularly interesting or innovative policies and outlining the rationales and effects of these policies. Once the provider has identified the relevant four or five countries, the British Council will provide assistance in contacting initial relevant stakeholders. Through qualitative interviews with such stakeholders, it would be expected that the final research output would describe how individuals or institutions were positively or negatively affected by policy changes or different approaches. An analysis of how the identified dynamics and trends are reflected in British policies, experiences or needs- an analysis of the approach favoured by the UK government and other institutions and the results of this. A detailed analysis reflecting the specific needs and challenges of the Mexican context- identifying the similarities and differences between Mexico and other countries and recommending specific 8

9 changes, programmes or policies that could make a positive difference in the Mexican education system. Suppliers may bid for the entire project, or simply for one or several of the parts of the project. For instance, we would expect British suppliers to bid for the first three elements (quantitative overview, qualitative analysis and reflection in British policies and institutions), and for Mexican suppliers to bid either for the entire project or for the fourth element. However, British suppliers who wish to bid for the entire project will also be considered. In the case that two different suppliers are selected, the British Council will facilitate the necessary communication and collaboration. 2.4 Outputs We expect the successful agency or individual to submit: A report and presentation with a detailed description of the proposed research methodology A report and presentation with preliminary results A final report and presentation On at least two occasions during the research process the successful agency will be asked to present their work to a wider audience (i.e. not just British Council but outside stakeholders as well). One of these presentations may take place overseas. Please include estimated costs for a visit to the UK in your proposal- costs for such a trip will be covered by the British Council. 2.5 Use of Outputs The data, reports and presentations may be used as presentations at British Council Policy Dialogue events in the Americas Region or in the United Kingdom. 3. Instructions for Responding 3.1 The Submission Process Please complete Annex 1 (Mandatory Information) and Annex 2 (Supplier Response Form). We suggest that you consider also submitting an 9

10 additional, optional research proposal if you wish to provide further detail. Submit these documents to carbon copy, no later than 17:00 hrs. CST on the 21 st of November Please ensure that you send your submission in good time to prevent issues with technology late submissions may not be considered. Supporting evidence (PDF, JPG, PPT, Word and Excel formats only - other formats should not be used) can be provided to substantiate your response please ensure that all attachments/supporting evidence is clearly labelled with the appropriate question number. Completion and submission of your response does not guarantee award of any BC contract 3.2 Clarification Questions Any questions should be submitted via to with carbon copy to no later than 17:00hrs CST on 19 th November Evaluation Criteria Supplier responses will be assessed using the following criteria and weightings. A score will be given for each part of the information submitted that is to be assessed. The qualitative aspects of your response will be evaluated entirely on your response submitted. Criteria Weighting Knowledge and experience 25% Methodology and approach 35% Timetable and staffing 15% Costing and value for money 25% 10

11 The responses under each sub category will be scored based on the following matrix: Points Interpretation 10 Excellent - A comprehensive and strong answer indicating the provider is fully capable and experienced to deliver the required outcomes. A detailed response that directly responds to all requirements with no ambiguity and relevant examples provided. 7 Good - There are slight concerns that the organisation will not be able to achieve all the outcomes required and response lacked details of relevant experience. A less detailed response that broadly responds to the requirement with some ambiguity and few relevant examples provided. 5 Adequate - There are concerns that the organisation will not be able to achieve the outcomes required and response significantly lacks details of relevant experience. A less detailed response that broadly responds to the requirement with some ambiguity and no/irrelevant examples provided. 3 Poor Response/Limited Evidence - There are serious indications that the organisation will not be able to achieve the outcomes required and has not provided appropriate evidence of experience to successfully deliver the outcomes required. A response that is not entirely relevant to the requirement, with ambiguity and lacking specific detail. 0 Unacceptable - The answer is non-compliant and/or no relevant information has been received to demonstrate the organisation can achieve the required outcomes. No response or a response that is entirely irrelevant. All scores will be added together to provide an overall total score for each sub category/section which will then be calculated against the criteria weightings. Once all the criteria weightings have been calculated, they will all be added together to provide an overall total score. 11

12 The pricing evaluation will be based on the response with the lowest overall cost being assigned 25% and all other responses will be calculated pro-rata. Please note that all your responses to the tender requirements and the pricing schedule will be incorporated into a contractual document. 5. Statement of Requirements 5.1 Research Design In the supplier response form, please ensure to include details on how you propose to approach the research question and objectives as well as: Evidence of relevant previous research work and experience Qualifications/experience of the team members who will be involved in this project Project plan showing utilisation of suggested team members Detailed costing of each of the research items. Detailed timescale Any requested deviations to the Draft Contract, together with reasons for your request If you feel that the supplier response form does not allow you to provide sufficient detail about your research design, you may also submit an additional detailed research proposal. 5.2 Expertise Required The British Council is looking to appoint a reputable agency with the following qualities: Strong research and macroeconomic data portfolio, evidenced by previous projects. Expertise in international education and macroeconomic research evidenced by previous research projects and consultancy carried out for education and government establishments. Strong dedicated team with suitable experience and qualifications. 12

13 6. Timeline 7. Disclaimers The table below shows the key dates for the submission process. Activity Date ITT issued October 31 th 2014 Deadline of receipt of queries November 19 th 2014 Deadline for submission of proposal November 21 st 2014 Evaluation of proposals November 24 th November 26 th 2014 Decision made on successful November 27 th 2014 agency Project kick-off meeting November 28 th 2014 Project completion date June 30 th All information contained within this document is confidential and is provided only to give suppliers an adequate understanding of the British Council s requirements and under no circumstances should be disclosed to a third party without the British Council s consent. 7.2 The document does not constitute an offer to provide services to the British Council. 7.3 All costs incurred in the preparation of the proposal are the supplier s responsibility. 7.4 The British Council is not obliged to award a contract for this business 13

14 Annex 1- Mandatory Information Due Diligence and Discretionary Rejection Important Notice: In some circumstances the British Council is required by law to exclude you from participating further in this procurement. If you cannot answer no to every question in this section it is very unlikely that your response will be accepted, and you should contact us for advice before completing this form. Please state Yes or No to each question. Has your organisation or any directors or partner or any other person who has powers of representation, decision or control been convicted of any of the following offences? a) conspiracy within the meaning of section 1 or 1A of the Criminal Law Act 1977 or article 9 or 9A of the Criminal Attempts and Conspiracy (Northern Ireland) Order 1983 where that conspiracy relates to participation in a criminal organisation as defined in Article 2 of Council Framework Decision 2008/841/JHA; (b) corruption within the meaning of section 1(2) of the Public Bodies Corrupt Practices Act 1889 or section 1 of the Prevention of Corruption Act 1906; where the offence relates to active corruption; (c) the offence of bribery, where the offence relates to active corruption; (ca) bribery within the meaning of section 1 or 6 of the Bribery Act 2010; d) fraud, where the offence relates to fraud affecting the European Communities financial interests as defined by Article 1 of the Convention on the protection of the financial interests of the European Communities, within the meaning of: (i) the offence of cheating the Revenue; (ii) the offence of conspiracy to defraud; (iii) fraud or theft within the meaning of the Theft Act 1968, the Theft Act (Northern Ireland) 1969, the Theft Act 1978 or the Theft (Northern Ireland) Order 1978; (iv) fraudulent trading within the meaning of section 458 of the Companies Act 1985, article 451 of the Companies (Northern Ireland) Order 1986 or section 993 of the Companies Act 2006; (v) fraudulent evasion within the meaning of section 170 of the Customs and Excise Management Act 1979 or section 72 of the Value Added Tax Act 1994; (vii) destroying, defacing or concealing of documents or procuring the execution of a valuable security within the meaning of section 20 of the Theft Act 1968 or section 19 of the Theft Act (northern Ireland) 1969; (viii) fraud within the meaning of section 2, 3 or 4 of the Fraud Act 2006; or Answer (Delete as applicable) 14

15 Annex 1- Mandatory Information (ix) making, adapting, supplying or offering to supply articles for use in frauds within the meaning of section 7 of the Fraud Act 2006; (e) money laundering within the meaning of section 340(11) of the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002; (ea) an offence in connection with the proceeds of criminal conduct within the meaning of section 93A, 93B or 93C of the Criminal Justice Act 1988 or article 45, 46 or 47 of the Proceeds of Crime (Northern Ireland) Order 1996; or (eb) an offence in connection with the proceeds of drug trafficking within the meaning of section 49, 50 or 51 of the Drug Trafficking Act 1994; or (f) any other offence within the meaning of Article 45(1) of Directive 2004/18/EC as defined by the national law of any relevant State. Discretionary Rejection The British Council is entitled to exclude you from consideration if any of the following apply. If you cannot answer no to every question it is possible that your response may not be accepted. In the event that any of the following do apply, please set out (in a separate Annex) full details of the relevant incident and any remedial action taken subsequently. The information provided will be taken into account by the British Council in considering whether or not you will be able to proceed any further in respect of this procurement exercise. The British Council is also entitled to exclude you in the event you are guilty of serious misrepresentation in providing any information referred to within regulation 23, 24, 25, 26 or 27 of the Public Contracts Regulations 2006 or you fail to provide any such information requested by us. Is any of the following true of your organisation? (a) being an individual is a person in respect of whom a debt relief order has been made or is bankrupt or has had a receiving order or administration order or bankruptcy restrictions order or a debt relief restrictions order made against him or has made any composition or arrangement with or for the benefit of his creditors or has made any conveyance or assignment for the benefit of his creditors or appears unable to pay, or to have no reasonable prospect of being able to pay, a debt within the meaning of section 268 of the Insolvency Act 1986, or article 242 of the Insolvency (Northern Ireland) Order 1989, or in Scotland has granted a trust deed for creditors or become otherwise apparently insolvent, or is the subject of a petition presented for sequestration of his estate, or is the subject of any similar procedure under the law of any other state; or b) being a partnership constituted under Scots law, has granted a trust deed or become otherwise apparently insolvent, or is the subject of a petition Answer (Delete as applicable) 15

16 Annex 1- Mandatory Information presented for sequestration of its estate; or (c) being a company or any other entity within the meaning of section 255 of the Enterprise Act 2002 has passed a resolution or is the subject of an order by the court for the company s winding up otherwise than for the purpose of bona fide reconstruction or amalgamation, or had a receiver, manager or administrator on behalf of a creditor appointed in respect of the company s business or any part thereof or is the subject of similar procedures under the law of any other state? Has your organisation? a) Been convicted of a criminal offence relating to the conduct of your business or profession? b) Committed an act of grave misconduct in the course of your business or profession? c) Failed to fulfil obligations relating to the payment of social security contributions under the law of any part of the United Kingdom or of the relevant State in which you are established? d) Failed to fulfil obligations relating to the payment of taxes under the law of any part of the United Kingdom or of the relevant State in which you are established? 16

17 Annex 2- Supplier Response Template Response to Invitation to Tender For the supply of Mexico Education Sector Research to the British Council Company name: Contact name: Contact address: Contact Telephone number: Instructions 1. Provide Company Name and Contact details above. 2. Complete Part 1 (Supplier Response) ensuring all answers are inserted in the space below each section of the British Council requirement / question. Note: Any alteration to a question will invalidate your response to that question and a mark of zero will be applied. 3. Complete Part 3 (Checklist) to acknowledge and ensure your submission includes all the mandatory requirements and documentation. Note: Failure to provide your acknowledgement and documentation may result in your submission being rejected. 4. Submit all mandatory documentation to carbon copy to by 17:00 CST 21 st November

18 Annex 2- Supplier Response Template Part 1 Supplier Response Scoring Methodology The following methodology for evaluating responses will be applied and weighted for all selection criteria below: 10 points (Excellent) - A comprehensive and strong answer indicating the provider is fully capable and experienced to deliver the required outcomes. A detailed response that directly responds to all requirements with no ambiguity and relevant examples provided. 7 points (Good) - There are slight concerns that the organisation will not be able to achieve all the outcomes required and response lacked details of relevant experience. A less detailed response that broadly responds to the requirement with some ambiguity and few relevant examples provided. 5 points (Adequate) - There are concerns that the organisation will not be able to achieve the outcomes required and response significantly lacks details of relevant experience. A less detailed response that broadly responds to the requirement with some ambiguity and no/irrelevant examples provided. 3 points (Poor Response/Limited Evidence) - There are serious indications that the organisation will not be able to achieve the outcomes required and has not provided appropriate evidence of experience to successfully deliver the outcomes required. A response that is not entirely relevant to the requirement, with ambiguity and lacking specific detail. 0 points (Unacceptable) - The answer is non-compliant and/or no relevant information has been received to demonstrate the organisation can achieve the required outcomes. No response or a response that is entirely irrelevant. Section 1: Knowledge and Experience Selection Criteria Weighting: 25% Please list at least four examples of research projects undertaken in the field of either international education or higher education. Please include a description of any outputs of these projects, including publications. Please provide the details of any consultancy or research projects that have involved any engagement with the Mexican education system. Please provide details of any other projects recently undertaken that used similar methodology, and the outputs and effects of these projects. Please list the relevant qualifications and other experience of your team members Supplier Response to Section 1: 18

19 Annex 2- Supplier Response Template Section 2: Methodology and Approach Selection Criteria Weighting: 35% Please provide a brief description of the methodology you propose to use, including which of the four areas of research you propose to cover and how you propose to do so: A quantitative analysis that provides a clear picture of international dynamics and trends A focused qualitative element identifying four of five countries who have implemented particularly interesting or innovative policies and outlining the rationales and effects of these policies An analysis of how the identified dynamics and trends are reflected in British policies, experiences or needs A detailed analysis reflecting the specific needs and challenges of the Mexican context- identifying the similarities and differences between Mexico and other countries and recommending specific changes, programmes or policies that could make a positive difference in the Mexican education system. Please ensure that any links between the different stages of research are clear. We recommend that you submit an additional, separate research proposal if you feel that the supplier response format is insufficiently detailed. However, you must submit the supplier response form. Supplier Response to Section 2: 19

20 Annex 2- Supplier Response Template Section 3: Timetable and Staffing Selection Criteria Weighting: 15% What timetable do you foresee for the research project? When will different aspects of the research and what type of preliminary results do you foresee you will be to share when? What will the responsibilities of your different staff members be? How do these responsibilities relate to tasks they have previously performed? Supplier Response to Section 3: Section 4: Costing Selection Criteria Weighting: 25% Please provide a detailed breakdown of all costs associated to the project that you foresee. Please ensure that the cost breakdown is along the lines of the four identified aspects of the research, in addition to any further breakdown that you deem relevant. 20

21 Annex 2- Supplier Response Template Supplier Response to Section 4: Part 2 Submission Checklist Select Yes (Y) or No (N) to acknowledge and indicate that your submission includes all of the mandatory requirements for this tender. Important Note: Failure to provide your acknowledgement and documentation may result in your submission being rejected 1. Annex 1 Mandatory Information Y / N 2. Annex 2 Supplier Response Template Y / N 3. Detailed Research Proposal (Optional) Y / N 21

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