ARISC Faculty Exchange Fellowship Program

Questions? Email info@arisc.org

The American Research Institute of the South Caucasus (ARISC) is offering a faculty exchange program for educators from the U.S. and the South Caucasus. This grant promotes educational and cultural exchange between professors and teachers at higher educational institutions in both the U.S. and the South Caucasus (Armenia, Azerbaijan, and Georgia). The aim of the exchange is to broaden mutual understanding through the exploration of diverse cultural perspectives. Given that education plays a role in developing knowledgeable citizens, the focus of the exchange is on teaching, including professional development, curriculum enrichment, and development of pedagogical practices that engage students in critical thinking. We are interested in candidates at all Higher Educational settings, from Community College to University and from institutions based in large cities as well as in smaller towns and centers.

Two faculty members – one from the U.S. and one from the South Caucasus – will work together and spend time at each other’s institution. The exchanges are designed to build networks between U.S. and South Caucasus scholars, and to convey the knowledge generated by the collaborative project to students. Funding for this fellowship is provided by the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs (ECA) through a grant to the Council of American Overseas Research Centers (CAORC).

Stage One Deadline: Friday, April 12, 2024

Stage Two Deadline: Friday, May 31, 2024

Goals:

  • Establish and encourage collaboration among scholars, academic departments, and/or educational institutions in the U.S. and the South Caucasus republics of Armenia, Azerbaijan, and Georgia
  • Develop and make public pedagogical resources pertaining to the South Caucasus, including syllabi, lesson plans, classroom exercises, assignment templates, grading rubrics, or any other relevant deliverables
  • Produce and make public resources useful for academic engagement with and about the South Caucasus, including but not limited to syllabi, recorded lectures and presentations, articles, databases, exhibits, text and audio-visual media, or other deliverables
  • Create networks of scholars between the U.S. and the South Caucasus

Eligibility:

  • Citizenship:
    • Applicants must be citizens of either
      • Armenia, Azerbaijan, or Georgia, residing in Armenia, Azerbaijan, or Georgia
      • or the U.S., residing in the U.S.
  • Status:
    • Applicants must have a master’s degree or higher; or equivalent professional degree, training, or qualifications.
    • Applicants must have an active and/or regular teaching appointment at an accredited institution of higher education in their country of residence (in Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, or the U.S.). They may be tenure track, non-tenure track, or specialized teaching faculty, lecturers, invited lecturers, adjuncts, instructors, or post-docs or staff with teaching components.
  • Language proficiency
    • Applications must be submitted in English.
    • Applicants from the South Caucasus must possess a working knowledge of English.
    • Applicants from the U.S. must possess a level of familiarity in any language used in the country they propose to visit.

Invitational Priority:

  • For applicants from Armenia, Azerbaijan, or Georgia, instructors at universities outside the capitals are especially encouraged to apply, but all strong proposals will be given full consideration.
  • For applicants from the U.S., instructors who have an active and/or regular teaching appointment at a community college or a minority serving institution are especially encouraged to apply, but all strong proposals will be given full consideration.
  • Proposals that are interdisciplinary or creatively merge disciplines are especially encouraged, but all strong proposals will be given full consideration.
  • When formulating your project, you should consider the points below:
    • reaching underrepresented and underserved individuals and institutions
    • increasing understanding of shared democratic values, global challenges such as mitigating climate change, and cultural diversity
    • extending impact of programs in communities by supporting diverse range of participants
    • expanding educational and professional development programs to build participants’ skills
    • increasing access to credible, fact-based sources of information for individuals and communities targeted by disinformation

Award Amount:

Awards will be made for an amount up to $8,600 for the team’s proposal, to help cover transportation (airfare and ground transportation), lodging, and meals and incidental expenses to support the proposed program. This amount can be split between the two participants however best supports the project.

Possible Models of Collaboration:

  • Staggered one-to-one exchange visits by two scholars at each other’s institutions; scholars visit each other at different times of the academic year and collaborate on a team-teaching or other project, partly in-person and partly online; or
  • Short-term visits (one or two weeks), including lectures, workshops, research, and/or teaching engagements by an individual scholar at an institution; or
  • Long-term visits (multiple weeks up to one semester), including lectures, workshops, research, and/or teaching engagements by an individual scholar at an institution; note that this option might require additional funding and/or logistical support; or
  • Another model of collaboration resulting in an outcome meeting the goals listed above, such as short-term or long-term one-to-one simultaneous exchange visits by two scholars at each other’s institutions, including lectures, workshops, research, and/or teaching engagements, or any other viable format.

Application Requirements:

There are two stages to the application process.

In Stage One, each applicant will submit their own individual initial project descriptions.

In Stage Two, all eligible applicants will then be given access to initial project descriptions. This will enable U.S. applicants to find potential partners from the South Caucasus and vice versa, with whom they will then develop a collaborative project. Final joint proposals will be submitted in Stage Two.

Stage One

  1. Application form
  2. Curriculum vitae
  3. List of relevant courses taught (limit to 5 courses)
    1. Include title of course, brief description, when it was last offered, whether the course is for bachelor’s, master’s, or doctoral students. The list should not be comprehensive and should focus on courses relevant to the proposed project.
  4. Applicant’s teaching statement
    1. Discuss how your teaching experience has shaped your teaching philosophy (or approach to teaching). You can also use this space to share how you approach diversity, inclusion, and equity in your teaching. (Between 300 and 500 words.)
  5. Project idea
    1. Provide a brief description of a project (one or two project ideas) that you envision for this program. The description should match the program goals and take into account the suggested models of collaboration. You may also come up with your own model, providing it matches the program’s stated goals.
    2. The brief description should be no more than 500 words in total and can be uploaded into the application form. Files can only be Word documents or .pdf files and cannot exceed 1MB in size.
    3. If you already have in mind an individual or institution with whom you would like to collaborate on a project, please indicate that in the description. If you do have an individual or institution in mind, they will also need to submit an application to the program at this stage.
    4. The initial description is meant for potential partners to consider in preparation for Stage Two.

Stage Two

  1. Application form*
  2. Narrative description of the joint project
    • Provide a project proposal in collaboration with your partner.
    • The proposal should meet the program goals and take into account the suggested models of collaboration.
    • The proposal should include the following components:
      • A description of the project
      • Goals
      • Significance of the exchange project for
        • Students,
        • Teaching/pedagogy,
        • Your department, discipline, university/college and/or country.
      • Expected outcomes, including any deliverables to be made public, learning outcomes, potential future collaborations, or any other identifiable or measurable outcomes.
  3. Teaching statements of both applicants
    • Applicants can reuse the statements they submitted at Stage One
  4. Timeframe
    • Scholars are expected to travel to the South Caucasus or the U.S. for the project; ECA funded programs do not support solely remote projects.
    • Projects may begin as early as fall 2024, and should be completed by July 2025.
    • Please be specific about the number of days per week and number of hours during the day that you will spend on this project, as well as the location for this project.
    • Your work schedule should demonstrate that you have checked academic calendars. Universities/Colleges may not be open year-round, and local scholars may be traveling in the summer. Check on academic schedules ahead of time.
    • Be aware that it can take up to six months to obtain the necessary visas and plan accordingly. We recommend beginning the process early. ARISC can assist with the visa process.
    • Applicants with questions about timing and feasibility, or any other issues relating to working in-country, are encouraged to contact ARISC’s staff: Armenia@arisc.org, Azerbaijan@arisc.org, Georgia@arisc.org, or info@arisc.org
  5. Itemized budget and budget narrative (see sample here)
    • Allowable costs include airfare, ground transportation, lodging, and meals and incidental expenses. Funding from this award cannot be used to cover visa expenses or the purchase of insurance. Refer to the “Additional Requirements, Terms, and Conditions” section of the call for more information about visas.
    • Budgeted amounts for meals and incidental expenses may not exceed those set by the U.S. Department of State or the U.S. General Services Administration for the location of travel. See this website for travel to the South Caucasus and this website for travel to the U.S.
    • If the cost of the project exceeds the maximum allowable in this funding opportunity, applicants should explain other sources of funding, as well as how the project can be adjusted if they are only awarded ARISC funds.
    • Applicants with questions about budgeting for specific in-country costs are encouraged to contact ARISC’s Resident Directors: Armenia@arisc.org, Azerbaijan@arisc.org, Georgia@arisc.org, or info@arisc.org.
  6. Curriculum vitae for all participants.
    • limit to 2 pages each including most relevant experience and publications

Application materials at Stage Two should be emailed to info@arisc.org, with the subject line, “ARISC Faculty Exchange Fellowship.” Applications will be processed manually. Applicants should expect to receive an email from ARISC indicating receipt approximately 2-3 days after submission. If you do not receive a response, check your spam filter, then contact info@arisc.org.

* The form will be provided to all applicants who are selected for a Stage Two application and will need to be completed and submitted jointly. You will need to use Adobe Reader (free) to complete the form.

Additional Requirements, Terms, and Conditions:

The following requirements, terms, and conditions apply to applicants selected for awards. Applicants should be aware of the following prior to submitting their application:

  • Applicants must be citizens and residents of Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, or the U.S. Proof of citizenship must be shown upon funding notification.
  • Applicants may apply to more than one ARISC funding opportunity, if eligible. If awarded more than one fellowship, the awardee will be asked to select project dates that do not overlap.
  • Applicants at Stage Two may submit as many joint applications as they wish. Only one joint award will be made for the Faculty Exchange Fellowship.
  • The joint project selected for an award will be asked to provide evidence of support from all relevant institutions in the countries of travel, where the project will take place. Applicants are encouraged to begin the process of obtaining support from their institutions early.
  • Fellows must submit a Final Report to ARISC within 30 days of project completion, and no later than August 31, 2025. Any unused portion of the funding must be returned to ARISC by this date. A portion of the funding will be withheld until the recipients submit their Final Report on their project.
  • Fellows are responsible for obtaining appropriate project permissions and securing their visas. ARISC Resident Directors can help facilitate the visa process to the South Caucasus, and the U.S. Executive Director will assist with the visa process for the awardee from Armenia, Azerbaijan, or Georgia. The awardee from Armenia, Azerbaijan, or Georgia should not apply for a visa before ARISC initiates the process.
  • Awardees of an ARISC Faculty Exchange Fellowship may not apply to another ARISC Faculty Exchange Fellowship for two years (from the date that the project was completed).
  • All travel between the U.S. and South Caucasus that uses funds from this program must meet the provisions of the “Fly America Act” (i.e. flying on a U.S. flag air carrier service) or “Open Skies Agreement.”
  • ARISC does not provide tax advice on award payments. Fellows are encouraged to consult with their own tax advisors prior to filing. Awardees should be aware of tax implications in Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, or the U.S.
  • U.S. award recipients are responsible for ensuring proper medical and evacuation insurance coverage during their time in this program in the South Caucasus. ARISC funds cannot be used to cover medical, emergency evacuation and repatriation, or other insurance. Proof of insurance coverage will be required before disbursement of funds. Your university may provide this for your research. Please consult with them first. ARISC will purchase travel insurance for the traveler from the South Caucasus to the U.S.
  • Given changing travel restrictions and/or travel warnings to many countries, fellows must contact ARISC prior to purchasing airfare. ARISC will not fund projects taking place in locations designated as Level 4 (Do Not Travel) by the U.S. Department of State. Fellows are encouraged to use https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en.html to monitor travel advisories.
  • Fellows are expected to make contact with the ARISC Resident Director in each country (or countries) where they will be traveling prior to arrival.
  • Fellows may not hold another U.S. federal grant concurrently with the ECA-funded ARISC Faculty Exchange Fellowship. While ARISC encourages scholars to apply to other federal and private sources in addition to the ARISC fellowships, ARISC fellows who receive additional awards must contact ARISC immediately to discuss possible date and stipend adjustments.
  • All foreign nationals traveling to the U.S. on the ARISC Faculty Exchange Fellowship must enter the U.S. on a J-1 visa. This includes foreign nationals holding other types of U.S. visas and foreign nationals who do not need a visa to enter the U.S. as a tourist. If a foreign national participant does not enter the U.S. on a J-1 visa ARISC will not be able to reimburse the applicant for any of their travel expenses. The fellowship is voided if entry is by any other visa or means. Awardees must immediately notify ARISC if they have a U.S. residency visa, or a non-residency visa.
  • Note that if an awardee has dual passports, they will need to travel on their Armenian, Azerbaijani, Georgian, or U.S. passport.
  • For a foreign national participant to obtain a J-1 visa they will first need a DS-2019 issued. The awardee will complete a form for ARISC that will then be used by the U.S. Department of State to create a DS-2019. The completed DS-2019 will be mailed via DHL or FedEx to the awardee and the awardee will then need to take it to the U.S. Embassy or Consulate to apply for a visa. Foreign national awardees are not to pay the SEVIS fee for visas. The fee is waived for awardees on this program. The ‘G’ number/category on the DS-2019 form is entered in lieu of payment. ARISC will assist the awardee in the process.
  • Awardees will be issued a short-term J-1 visa. By holding this visa, awardees may not apply for a residency visa for two years following the end of their J-1 visa expiration date. If there are extenuating circumstances that would require a residency visa within two years, awardees may apply for a waiver to this rule, however there is no guarantee that the waiver will be granted. Awardees are allowed short-term travel to the U.S. within that two-year time frame.
  • U.S. citizens planning to travel to Azerbaijan will need a visa. Note that ARISC does not have a branch in Azerbaijan and is unable to issue a letter of invitation, so awardees will need to coordinate with a host institution to obtain an invitation letter for a visa. Armenia and Georgia do not require visas of U.S. citizens entering these countries for short stays.
  • ARISC reserves the right to adjust the amounts and types of awards given under this program, as well as the general terms and conditions, before award agreements are reached with each recipient.

Selection Process:

Successful applications will demonstrate the potential for substantive collaborations that contribute to mutual exchange of scholarship between the South Caucasus and the U.S. They should emphasize the development of new pedagogical skills/methods/approaches, and how the exchange will enhance mutual knowledge of the South Caucasus and the U.S. amongst local populations and students. Proposals will be evaluated by ARISC’s fellowships panel made up of scholars working in the South Caucasus with experience conducting regional and trans-regional research. Please note that readers may not be specialists in your field, so please avoid the heavy use of discipline-specific terminology in your proposals. Applications will be judged according to the following five primary criteria:

  1. Merits of the proposal for advancing international scholarly and pedagogical collaboration, particularly interdisciplinary collaboration, as per the program goals;
  2. Applicants’ qualifications;
  3. Feasibility in terms of amount of time allocated to the collaboration, as well as proposed format for the collaboration;
  4. Significance to needs and interests of the host countries, ARISC’s mission, and the funding guidelines;
  5. Advancement of public understanding.

There will be two stages to the selection process, described above. In Stage One, applicants will submit an initial application by Friday, April 12, 2024. They will be notified in April 2024 if they are invited to continue to Stage Two. Final joint proposals will be submitted by Friday, May 31, 2024.

Notification:

Notification of fellowship status will be sent to each applicant via email in July 2024. If you would like to receive any updates to this funding call, please email info@arisc.org with your name, contact information, and the subject “Updates to Faculty Exchange Fellowships 2024.”

Questions:

Questions? See our new Frequently Asked Questions page, or email info@arisc.org

The ARISC Resident Directors in Baku, Tbilisi, and Yerevan are available to assist the fellows chosen for the program to prepare for their research in the South Caucasus by assisting with logistics such as visa requirements, travel arrangements within the country, and helping to locate research materials and local contacts. The Executive Director in the U.S. is available to do the same for the U.S. Note that ARISC does not have a branch in Azerbaijan and is unable to issue a letter of invitation, so awardees will need to coordinate with a host institution to obtain an invitation letter for a visa.

Important Notes Regarding Applications

  • ARISC’s method of submission is via email.
  • Once an application is submitted it cannot be resubmitted or edited.

Funding Source:

Funding for this fellowship is provided by the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs (ECA) through a grant to the Council of American Overseas Research Centers (CAORC).

ARISC does not discriminate on the basis of race, ethnicity, color, sex, gender, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, religion, national origin, physical or mental disability, medical condition, ancestry, marital status, education, age, income, socio-economic status, or status as a covered veteran.