ARISC Junior Research Fellowship

The American Research Institute of the South Caucasus (ARISC) announces the availability of fellowships in support of early-career postdoctoral scholars to undertake research activities in the South Caucasus (Armenia, Azerbaijan, and/or Georgia).

Award Amount:

The ARISC Junior Research Fellowships (JRF) will fund three early-career scholars at $5000 each for 1-3 months of research in the South Caucasus to help cover transportation, lodging, meals and incidental expenses. Scholars are expected to be in the South Caucasus for the duration of the project.

Eligibility:

This opportunity is open to US citizens and US permanent residents who are scholars at the early postdoctoral stage – within ten years of being awarded a doctoral degree at the time of application. If the applicant is in a tenure-track position, they must be pre-tenure in order to apply. Projects in all fields in the humanities, social sciences, and natural sciences are eligible.

Additional Information:

During their time in the South Caucasus, applicants will give a presentation on their research at an ARISC-sponsored event in the South Caucasus. As part of their final reports, ARISC JRF recipients will create curricular modules and resources, incorporating their ARISC-funded research, for general education use that will be publicly available on the website.

Application Requirements:

Please send a complete application including the application form*, budget (transportation, lodging, meals and incidentals expenses), a project statement of not more than 2000 words, work schedule, and curriculum vitae by Friday, December 18, 2020, to info “at” arisc.org. Applicants also have the option to submit a brief diversity statement, discussing how their experiences and project promote diverse perspectives, experiences, and ideas in the pursuit of research in their discipline. Letters of recommendation should be sent directly from your referee via email to info “at” arisc.org.

All information must be received by Friday, December 18, 2020, in order for the applicant to be considered for the fellowship.

*This form needs to be downloaded to be completed. You will need to use Adobe Reader (free) to complete the form using the add text comment tool.

Special notes during Coronavirus pandemic:

Applicants are encouraged to submit two research design and methodologies sections with matching budgets for each:

  1. Scenario A: scenario with travel to the South Caucasus; and
  2. Scenario B: scenario with work from home or within the US. Scenario B allows for research to be conducted in the case that travel to the South Caucasus cannot be carried out during the project timeline due to the pandemic. In this scenario, consider the following questions: How can you address your research question if you cannot travel to the South Caucasus? What methods, tools, and analyses can you conduct from home or in the US? Please be certain to adhere to appropriate safety protocols.  

For Scenario B, instead of funding travel costs (transportation, lodging, M&IE), the budget may cover costs such as rent, childcare, etc. so that the fellow may focus on their research during the time period of their fellowship. The Scenario B option budget may include translation costs, hiring a research assistant in the South Caucasus to do archival research if the fellow cannot travel, digital research projects, or publication fees for research. Publication fees could include website registration/server fees, or open access fees. Think of this the same way you would think about the costs of research in another country: What are the costs that would allow you to focus on and conduct research in the context of the pandemic? Attach a separate sheet to address Scenario B.

If awarded and fellows may to travel to the South Caucasus, then Scenario A will be in effect. If not, then Scenario B comes into effect.

Note that due to the current COVID-19 crisis as well as the military confrontations between Armenia and Azerbaijan, fellowship travel will resume when travel restrictions are lifted. Please list a tentative travel plan and dates in your application. ARISC will continue to monitor the situation and will work with fellows to confirm travel plans when the fellowships are awarded.

ARISC does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, religion, sex, physical or mental disability, medical condition, ancestry, marital status, age, sexual orientation, citizenship, or status as a covered veteran.

Terms and Conditions

  1. All applicants must be citizens or permanent residents of the USA, and must be early-career postdoctoral scholars, who have received their PhD since 2010. If the applicant is in a tenure-track position, they must be pre-tenure in order to apply. 
  2. Fellows must complete their fellowships and submit a Final Report including curricular modules and resources to ARISC by August 31, 2021. Any unused portion of the stipend must be returned to ARISC by this date.
  3. Awards are made of $5000 per fellow for one month (30 days) to three months of research in the South Caucasus.
  4. Fellows must present an ARISC-sponsored public lecture or workshop on their project during their residency in the South Caucasus and acknowledge ARISC in any publications and presentations.
  5. A portion of the fellowship stipend will be withheld until the recipient submits their Final Report on their fellowship. The Final Report will include creating one module with resources appropriate for a college hour (50 minute) lecture based on the fellow’s ARISC-funded research, including a PowerPoint, and where suitable, appropriate classroom activities and/or readings.
  6. Funding from this award cannot be used to cover visa expenses or the purchase of insurance.
  7. Meals and Incidental expenses may not exceed the rates set by the US Department of State.
  8. Fellows are responsible for obtaining the appropriate research permissions and visas. In general, researchers should seek permission to carry out research directly from the director(s) of the institution(s) where they intend to work, including most libraries housed within local museums. If the material they wish to study is part of an excavation or survey, researchers must submit a letter with their application that is signed by the project director giving permission to carry out the research.
  9. Award recipients are responsible for paying all taxes related to their awards. The fellowship funds awarded are generally considered income in the United States, and therefore must be reported to the tax authorities. ARISC bears no responsibility for withholding or remitting taxes related to these awards.
  10. Award recipients are responsible for ensuring proper medical and evacuation insurance coverage during their time in the field in the South Caucasus. Proof of insurance coverage will be required before disbursement of fellowship funds.
  11. Fellowship recipients are eligible to reapply for a second Junior Research Fellowship three years after completion of their most recent award.
  12. Selected fellows must work on their research full-time during their period of funding. Scholars are expected to be in the South Caucasus for the duration of the project.
  13. All travel between the US and South Caucasus that uses funds from the fellowship program must meet the provisions of the “Fly America Act.”
  14. Given changing travel restrictions and/or travel warnings to many countries, fellows should contact ARISC prior to purchasing air passage.
  15. Proof of Institutional Review Board (IRB) approval must be provided, if relevant, upon receipt of fellowship. Fellows are responsible for determining through their home institution whether IRB approval is required for their project. If unsure, the fellow should apply to the IRB program at their university.
  16. While ARISC encourages scholars to apply to other federal and private sources in addition to the ARISC Junior Research Fellowships, ARISC fellows who receive additional awards must contact ARISC immediately to discuss possible date and stipend adjustments. Fellows may not hold another federal grant concurrently with the US Department of Education-funded ARISC Junior Research Fellowship if the other federal support duplicates the purpose and costs covered by Title VI funds.
  17. 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

Fellows will be selected by the ARISC 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. Applicants will be judged according to the following criteria:

  • Merits of the proposal for significance, relevance, and potential contribution to regional and/or trans-regional scholarly research. Diversity statements will be considered under this criterion.
  • Applicant qualifications
  • Research design and methodology
  • Feasibility in terms of resources and amount of time allocated to the project
  • Proficiency in language required to complete research project, if applicable
  • If language competence is needed for this project, one of the letters of recommendation must address this.

Notification

Notification of fellowship status will be sent to each applicant via email in February 2021. 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 Junior Research Fellowships 2020-21.”

Additional Information

The ARISC Resident Directors in Baku, Tbilisi, and Yerevan are available to assist the scholars 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.

This fellowship is supported with a grant from the US Department of Education.