The Academic Fellowship Program contributes to higher education reform by supporting promising local scholars and assisting progressive universities in certain countries of Southeastern Europe and Central Asia.
Changing the Face of Education
Higher education reform efforts in the countries targeted by the Academic Fellowship Program are often impeded by lack of funding, ineffective education policies, poor planning and management, reliance on traditional curricula that emphasize passive rather than active learning, limited flexibility in career choices, corruption, and elitism. The program seeks to diminish these obstacles by focusing on both individual scholars and educational institutions, and helping to build local, regional, and global academic networks.
- The Academic Fellowship Program supports promising local scholars through the Returning Scholars Fellowship Program. The fellowship promotes the return of scholars to the region, their positioning within academe, and their continued professional development.
- The program also assists reform-minded university departments in their efforts to achieve world-class academic stature and become models of innovation and reform. The Academic Fellowship Program through the International Scholars Fellowship Program selects highly qualified scholars in the social sciences and humanities to assist these partner departments.
Fellowships begin in August or September and last one academic year. Fellowships comprise monthly stipends and various allowances, including departmental, professional development, and mobility funds, and are renewable. For those already working at a university, the home department must be selected as an Academic Fellowship Program partner in order for them to be eligible, unless they are willing to discuss moving to a partner department at a different university.
The Academic Fellowship Program supports scholars pursuing humanities and social sciences disciplines, including:
- area/cultural studies
- environmental studies
- gender studies
- human rights and public law
- international relations
- journalism/media studies
- political science
- public policy/public health
- social work
The Academic Fellowship Program supports efforts for higher education reform in 16 countries:
- Bosnia & Herzegovina
The competition for all program fellowships is merit-based, and priority is given to individuals who most closely match the profile of an “ideal” candidate. Specific eligibility factors for each fellowship include the following:
Returning Scholars Fellowship Program
- Citizen of a country in which the program operates
- An internationally recognized Master (MA) or postgraduate (PhD) degree (awarded by September of the year of application) from a reputable institution of higher education (typically North America, Western Europe, or Australia). A PhD or local equivalent is strongly desired, as the applicant must be qualified to teach in a local universitydepartment. Master’s degree recipients with an interest in pursing doctoral degrees are welcome to apply.
- A commitment to a career in higher education in the region, and a strong drive to participate in reform efforts in the field
- A desire to take advantage of opportunities for professional development and building academic cooperation and networks. For those already working at a university, the home department must be selected as an Academic Fellowship Program partner in order for them to be eligible, unless they are willing to discuss moving to a partner department at a different university. Interested parties are strongly encouraged to contact their regional or local Academic Fellowship Program office for more information before applying.
International Scholars Fellowship Program
- A PhD (or equivalent highest degree awarded in the field) in an academic discipline from the list above. Applicantsfor this program must be senior or well-established academics currently employed by an institution of higher education, or remaining closely associated and still active in teaching and research at a university; recent degree recipients will not be considered. Extensive experience in scholarly research and teaching. The successful candidate will show proficiency in innovative teaching methodologies specific for the discipline, and a strong commitment to high-quality teaching.
- Ability to help compose the year’s plan for departmental reform, evaluate needs, and determine how their expertise can most benefit the department. Before final placement, the program and the partner department work with the International Scholar to design a work plan that is both rewarding and feasible for the fellows and of greatest help to the department. The plan must include long-distance mentoring that bridges the time between short departmental visits.