Experience the South Caucasus Fellowship

Deadline: Friday, December 3, 2021

The American Research Institute of the South Caucasus (ARISC) invites students and instructors at U.S. degree-granting programs to apply to the Experience the South Caucasus Fellowship Program, taking place June 20 – July 20, 2022 in the countries of Armenia, Azerbaijan and Georgia. The program will immerse Fellows in the vibrant cultures and deep histories of the South Caucasus. Experience the South Caucasus offers participants a unique opportunity to gain valuable skills, learn about a little studied, but geopolitically significant part of the world, and visit cultural heritage sites — all through an exciting, experiential learning program.

Experience the South Caucasus Fellows will:

  • Gain valuable, unique work experience through engaging international projects, including part-time to full-time internships at non-governmental organizations (NGOs), research institutions, and non-profit organizations. Fellows will be able to indicate their preference for country and project. Training and supervision will be provided by each local institution.
  • Learn about local arts, culture, music, history, and more, through weekly lectures offered by community-based scholars.
  • Enhance their global competence through immersive cultural experiential learning and field trips to cultural sites and museums.
  • Build communication and presentation skills in a final, two-day workshop in Tbilisi, Georgia, where fellows will share and reflect on their experiences. The workshop will be led by Dr. Elizabeth Fagan (Virginia Commonwealth University).

Fellows’ transportation and lodging costs, as well as meals and incidentals (per diem), are covered in the program, within federal and ARISC travel guidelines and budgeting. Fellows in each country will spend the entirety of their program in that country, except for the final two-day workshop, which will take place in Tbilisi, Georgia. Most projects will be located in the capitals (Baku, Tbilisi, or Yerevan). Some projects (e.g. archaeological projects) may be based in villages. Fellows will have free time when not participating in projects, lectures, or field trips. Local ARISC Resident Directors will be available to answer fellows’ questions and support their stay in country.

Note that due to the current COVID-19 crisis, travel restrictions have been changing throughout the pandemic. ARISC will continue to monitor the situation and will work with Fellows to confirm travel plans per guidance from the US Department of State Travel Advisories, US Center for Disease Control Travel Advisories, and the US Embassies in Armenia, Azerbaijan, and Georgia. For additional COVID-19 protocol, please see https://arisc.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/10/COVID-Protocols.pdf

Eligibility:

Applicants must be U.S. citizens and at least 18 years old at the time of application. All applicants must be either undergraduate or graduate students enrolled in accredited degree-granting programs in the U.S. at the time of application, or instructors at accredited degree-granting programs in the U.S. Students graduating in spring 2022 are eligible to apply. 

Application requirements:

For all applicants:

Please send a complete application including the application form*, a statement of intent, letter(s) of recommendation, and curriculum vitae or resume, by Friday, December 3, 2021, to info@arisc.org, with the subject, “ARISC Experience the SC Program.” The statement of intent (not longer than 1500 words) should describe the applicant’s interests and qualifications to participate in their program. Letters of recommendation are also due by the Friday, December 3rd deadline. Selected applicants will be invited to an interview as the final step of the application.

Student applicants should also submit:

Student applicants need two letters of recommendation emailed directly by recommenders to ARISC (info@arisc.org). For students, the statement should also include how they expect the program will impact their learning goals, or their professional or personal lives.

Instructor applicants should also submit:

Instructor applicants (tenure track, non-tenure track, and specialized teaching faculty, lecturers, adjuncts, instructors, and post-docs or staff with teaching components) need one letter of recommendation from a colleague, collaborator, departmental chair/head, mentor, dean, or other administrator. Instructors should include in their statement how the program will develop their teaching or impact their future professional or academic career.

Materials Required:

All materials must be received by Friday, December 3, 2021, for the application to be considered.

*The application 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.

Additional Information on the Program

We encourage all applicants to review information available through these links:

Virtual open houses for prospective applicants are available. Please register in advance using the link below.

Additional Terms and Conditions

  1. All applicants must be either undergraduate or graduate students enrolled in accredited degree-granting programs in the U.S. at the time of application, or instructors at accredited degree-granting programs in the U.S. Students graduating in spring 2022 are eligible to apply. 
  2. Applicants must be at least 18 years old at the time of application.
  3. Applicants must be U.S. citizens. Proof of citizenship (i.e. photocopy of passport, etc.) must be shown upon acceptance to the program.
  4. Applicants from community colleges and minority-serving institutions will be given priority.
  5. Individuals selected to participate in the program (fellows) will be offered funding to cover the cost of transportation (airfare and ground transportation), lodging, and meals.
  6. Fellows will be required to attend virtual orientations in the U.S. and in the South Caucasus, as well as in-country group activities. Fellows will be required to maintain regular contact with the ARISC country representative in each country where they will be traveling. Fellows may not travel to any country(ies) not listed in their itinerary.
  7. ARISC is closely monitoring the COVID-19 situation in Armenia, Azerbaijan, and Georgia. This program will only take place once the restrictions and guidelines for travel to and from these countries are clear.
  8. ARISC will arrange transportation, lodging, and provide a stipend for meals and incidentals expenses.
  9. While the dates of the program will be June 20 to July 20, 2022 applicants should consider 1-2 additional days before and after these dates to account for travel time. The program concludes on July 20, 2022, after the two-day workshop in Tbilisi. Presentations at the final workshop will be open to the public.
  10. Two months after the conclusion of the program, fellows will be required to attend a final reflective teleconference, which will enable them to reconnect with each other and discuss how their experience in the South Caucasus has impacted their studies, research, or teaching.
  11. Fellows will receive the last $250 of their stipend upon participating in the final reflective teleconference and submitting a final short written reflection on their experience.
  12. Applicants should be advised that South Caucasus countries do not have the same laws regarding accessibility for persons with disabilities as does the US and there may be limitations on accommodations partner organizations can provide.
  13. ARISC is unable to provide medical or other insurance to its fellows. Fellows are required to supply ARISC with proof of medical insurance as well as emergency evacuation and repatriation of remains insurance before leaving the United States.
  14. Funds from this program cannot be used to cover the costs of obtaining passports, visas, or insurance.
  15. ARISC does not provide tax advice on fellowship payments. Fellowship stipends are not considered income. Fellows are encouraged to consult with their own tax advisors prior to filing.
  16. 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.
  17. Applicants should be aware that US citizens may enter Armenia and Georgia with a valid US passport. No additional visas are needed. US citizens must have a visa to enter Azerbaijan. See “Entry, Exit and Visa Requirements” on this page for more information. Fellows are responsible for applying and paying for a visa to Azerbaijan.
  18. COVID safety protocol: All Fellows will be required to show proof of vaccination upon acceptance to the program along with a medical form. Exceptions for religious or medical reasons may be considered.

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

Selection Process

Fellows will be selected by the ARISC grants panel made up of scholars with experience conducting regional and trans-regional research. Applicants will be judged according to the following criteria:

  • Applicant’s interest in the program
  • Applicant’s qualifications
  • For instructors, significance of the experience for their teaching and research
  • For students, significance of the experience for their education or professional or personal lives

Selected applicants will be invited to a virtual interview as the final step of the selection process.

Notification

Notification of fellowship status will be made available to each applicant via email in January 2022.
If you would like to receive any updates to this call for applications, please email info@arisc.org with your name, contact information, and the subject “Updates to Experience the South Caucasus Fellowship Program.”

Important Notes Regarding Applications

  • The applicant is responsible for notifying recommenders of their request for letters and for ensuring those letters are submitted to ARISC by December 3, 2021.
  • All letters of recommendation must be in English.
  • For students, one letter of recommendation may be from their academic advisor.
  • For instructors, one letter of recommendation may be from a colleague, collaborator, departmental chair/head, mentor, dean, or other administrator.
  • Applications must be submitted via email. Once an application is submitted it cannot be resubmitted or revised. This also applies to letters of recommendation.
  • Notification of fellowship status will be made available to each applicant via email in January 2022. Fellows are advised that it can take up to six months to obtain passports and visas for international travel and should plan accordingly.

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