The American Research Institute of the South Caucasus (ARISC) announces the availability of fellowships in support of research and mentoring activities in the South Caucasus (Armenia, Azerbaijan, and/or Georgia). The goals of the fellowship are 1) to support research in and the study of the South Caucasus; 2) to select, recognize and financially support individuals who demonstrate high potential to contribute to research in this region; 3) to support a mentoring relationship that will both develop the academic skills of the mentee and strengthen ties between the US and host country. Fellows must present an ARISC-sponsored public lecture or workshop on a subject related to their research during their residency in the South Caucasus and acknowledge ARISC in any publications and presentations. Funding for this fellowship is provided by the US Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs (ECA) through a grant to the Council of American Overseas Research Centers (CAORC).
Deadline: Friday, December 8, 2023
- Projects in all fields in the humanities, social sciences, and natural sciences are eligible.
- All projects must include one or more undergraduate and/or graduate students from Armenia, Azerbaijan, and/or Georgia as part of the mentoring requirement.
- PhD students, who are doctoral candidates. (Student applicants must have fulfilled all requirements for the doctorate except the dissertation by March 2024, and before beginning any ARISC-sponsored research. Students who are graduating before the start of their field research project should indicate how the research and mentoring fellowship will fit into those plans.)
- Scholars who have completed their PhDs
- In exceptional cases, awards will be granted to applicants who do not meet status requirements included above. If you would like to apply, but do not meet stated status requirements, include a separate, brief statement that explains how the award will benefit this phase of your work.
- Citizenship: U.S. citizens only
Projects proposing research on climate change are especially encouraged, but all strong proposals will be given full consideration.
Research awards will be made for an amount up to $10,000, for a period of one to three months, to help cover transportation, lodging, meals and incidental expenses, and other expenses needed to support the scholar’s research in the South Caucasus. ARISC expects to award between two and four Research and Mentoring Fellowships in 2023-24.
For ARISC fellowship purposes, mentoring is understood to involve integrating a local scholar or student into a research project in a fundamental way that involves cultivating skills and knowledge of methods that will contribute to their professional development. Some examples of mentoring include working closely with a local undergraduate or graduate student on the project, offering a guest lecture for an undergraduate- or graduate-level course at a local institution, or offering a workshop for local scholars. Applicants do not need to have a mentee identified at the time the application is submitted. If awarded, ARISC offers connections with colleagues, institutions, and authorities through its Resident Directors in Baku, Tbilisi, and Yerevan.
- application form*
- a project statement* of not more than 1500 words (not including bibliographic references, tables, charts, or other supporting information)
- Research question, design, and methodology
- The significance of the project, relevance, and potential contribution to regional and /or trans-regional scholarly research.
- How will you integrate the required mentoring component?
- What are your qualifications for this project and how will they enable you to do your proposed project?
- Please also identify potential obstacles or issues (for example, geopolitical instability, archive closures, difficulty finding interlocutors, permissions required by local agencies) that may delay your research and how would you meet the challenges of your project should one of these factors be an issue.
- Please note that application reviewers may not be specialists in your field. The language of your statement should be clear and free of jargon.
- work schedule,
- Scholars are expected to be in the South Caucasus for the duration of the project – ECA-funded programs do not support remote research projects.
- Please be specific about the number of days per week and number of hours during the day that you will spend on this research project, as well as the location for this research project.
- Your work schedule should demonstrate that you have checked availability of resources.
- Archives may not be open year-round, and local scholars may be traveling in the summer. Check on availability ahead of time.
- Be aware that it can take up to six months to obtain the necessary in-country research clearance and plan accordingly. We recommend beginning the process early.
- Applicants with questions about timing and feasibility, or any other issues relating to working in-country, are encouraged to contact ARISC’s Resident Directors: Armenia@arisc.org, Azerbaijan@arisc.org, or Georgia@arisc.org
- itemized budget with budget narrative (see sample here),
- Allowable costs include airfare, ground transportation, lodging, meals and incidental expenses, and research costs. Funding from this award cannot be used to cover visa expenses or the purchase of insurance.
- Budgeted amounts for meals and incidental expenses may not exceed those set by the US Department of State for the location of travel. See this website.
- If the cost of the project exceeds the maximum allowable in this funding opportunity, applicant should explain other sources of funding, as well as how the project can be scaled 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, or Georgia@arisc.org.
- a diversity statement
- discuss how your experiences and projects promote diverse perspectives, experiences, and ideas.
- curriculum vitae
- Doctoral candidates only: Two letters of recommendation must also be sent directly to ARISC from the recommenders. Applicants should download and share this cover sheet* with letter writers.
- The applicant is responsible for notifying referees of their request for letters and for ensuring those letters are submitted to ARISC by the deadline;
- All references must be in English;
- One letter must be from the applicant’s academic advisor.
Application materials should be emailed to email@example.com, with the subject, “ARISC Research and Mentoring Fellowship.” Applications are 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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
*This form needs to be downloaded to be completed. 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 US Citizens. Proof of citizenship must be shown upon fellowship 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 one.
- 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. We recommend applicants begin the IRB process at their home institution as soon as they submit their application to ARISC.
- Fellows must submit a Final Report to ARISC within 30 days of fellowship completion, and no later than August 31, 2024. Any unused portion of the grant must be returned to ARISC by this date. A portion of the fellowship stipend will be withheld until the recipient submits their Final Report on their fellowship.
- 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, fellows’ funding will be conditional upon submission of a letter that is signed by the project director giving permission to carry out the research. We recommend applicants begin the process of obtaining research permissions as soon as they submit their application to ARISC.
- If any item of equipment or supplies purchased with grant funds at an original cost in excess of $500.00 still has monetary value at the end of the fellowship period, the resale value must be returned to ARISC; or, upon approval by ARISC, such equipment may be donated to an educational or research institution in the South Caucasus in the name of ARISC.
- ARISC does not provide tax advice on fellowship payments. Fellows are encouraged to consult with their own tax advisors prior to filing.
- Award recipients are responsible for ensuring proper medical and evacuation insurance coverage during their time in the field 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 fellowship funds. Your university may provide this for your research. Please consult with them first.
- Fellowship recipients are eligible to reapply for a second U.S. Department of State Educational and Cultural Affairs (ECA)-funded fellowship three years after completion of their most recent award. Fellows cannot hold two-federally funded fellowships or funding opportunities simultaneously.
- Selected fellows must work on their research full-time during their period of funding.
- ECA requires that all travel between the US and South Caucasus that uses these funds must meet the provisions of the “Fly America Act” or “Open Skies Agreements.”
- 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 federal grant concurrently with the ECA-funded ARISC Research and Mentoring 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.
- Projects cannot incur expenses prior to the date listed on the award notification letter.
- 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.
- Employees of the U.S. Department of State are not eligible for consideration. This provision includes all employees, paid or unpaid (including part-time or temporary employees, consultants, and contract employees). This provision does not apply to interns.
Proposals will be peer-reviewed and judged on their quality and on the potential of the research to strengthen scholarship on the South Caucasus. Fellows will be selected by an ARISC fellowship 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. Applications 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;
- 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;
- Quality of the mentoring proposal.
Notification of fellowship status will be sent to each applicant via email in February 2024. If you would like to receive any updates to this funding call, please email email@example.com with your name, contact information, and the subject “Updates to Research and Mentoring Fellowships 2023-24.”
For questions, see our new Frequently Asked Questions page, or please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
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. 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.
We are also hosting virtual, open-house Question & Answer sessions on Mondays (beginning from November 6th) from 10-11am EST (7-8pm Tbilisi time). Registration required at https://us06web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZIsd–rrDwpHNMew1OA11dFn5YRk2Xp3G_r
Important Notes Regarding Applications
- ARISC’s method of submission is via email.
- Once an application is submitted it cannot be resubmitted or edited. This also applies to letters of recommendation.
Funding for this fellowship is provided by the US 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.