South Caucasus Overseas Program for Educators (SCOPE)

The American Research Institute of the South Caucasus (ARISC) invites applications to the South Caucasus Overseas Program for Educators (SCOPE) taking place in the summer of 2023.

SCOPE will consist of an immersive ten-day visit to Armenia and Georgia for post-secondary educators, with priority given to faculty at community colleges and minority serving institutions. The program will run in the South Caucasus from Tuesday, June 20 to Thursday, June 29, 2023.

The program will be co-led by regional experts Dr. Anna Ohanyan (Stonehill College) and Dr. Benjamin Bamberger (University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign). SCOPE participants will attend lectures and workshops run by local academics, visit sites of historical and cultural significance, and engage with scholarly communities in Armenia and Georgia from a variety of disciplines. The program will also offer Introductory virtual talks on the regional languages prior to travel as well as opportunities to collect and develop curricular resources.

SCOPE participants will

  • Gain an understanding of the diverse political, historical, and socio-cultural issues and contexts of the South Caucasus.
  • Use their experiences in the South Caucasus to either create or deepen a pedagogical project as outlined in their applications.
  • Develop learning objectives to integrate South Caucasus components into their teaching practices.
  • Create networks among themselves and with local and international scholars and specialists in order to deepen and extend professional and pedagogical collaborations.

Applicants selected for the program will be required to attend three virtual orientation sessions prior to the program taking place, as well as a final virtual wrap-up meeting upon return. In the application participants will be asked to propose a module that they would like to develop during the program.

Developed as part of the four-year grant awarded by the U.S. Department of Education Title VI AORC program, SCOPE builds on the “Teaching the South Caucasus Workshop” held in June 2022 in conjunction with the Russian, East-European and Eurasian Center at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

Deadline: Monday, January 23, 2023


  • Citizenship: U.S. citizens and U.S. permanent residents only
  • Status: instructors at institutions of higher education who are tenure track, non-tenure track, or specialized teaching faculty, lecturers, adjuncts, instructors, or post-docs or staff with teaching components

Invitational Priority:

Applications submitted by instructors at community colleges and minority-serving institutions, particularly those who already completed the “Teaching the South Caucasus Workshop” in 2022 are especially encouraged to apply. All applications will be given full consideration.

Award Amount:

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. 

Application Requirements:

  • Application Form*
  • Full academic Curriculum Vitae
  • Statement of Interest (500-750 words)
    • In a separate document, please provide a brief statement on how the Teaching the South Caucasus workshop will serve your interests and/or coursework.
    • Consider ways in which this program with regional experts who research and teach about the South Caucasus, local South Caucasian regional scholars, and on-site visits to local places of interest, would serve to enrich your coursework and invigorate your teaching.
  • Outline of current or pedagogical project (200-500 words)
    • In a separate document, please provide a brief outline on a current or pedagogical project where you plan to incorporate materials from this program about the South Caucasus into courses you currently teach or are planning to teach.
    • Prior to travel, selected applicants will be asked to produce a more detailed draft teaching module in their selected subtopic areas. The goal is for participants to have projects to bring to the program that they will be able to build out through their experiences, engagements with other scholars, teachers, and professionals and with additional local resources and materials.
  • One letter of recommendation
    • The letter of recommendation may be from a colleague, collaborator, departmental chair/head, mentor, dean, or other administrator. The recommender should not be related to the applicant.
    • The letter should be emailed directly from the recommender to

*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.

  1. Applicants must be US Citizens or Permanent Residents.
  2. Award recipients are responsible for ensuring proper medical and evacuation insurance coverage during their time in the South Caucasus. Proof of insurance coverage will be required before disbursement of award funds. Your teaching institution may provide this for your research or professional development. Please consult with them first.
  3. The U.S. Department of Education 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.”
  4. 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 to monitor travel advisories.
  5. ARISC does not provide tax advice.
  6. 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.
  7. Award recipients are responsible for having their own valid passport. Permanent residents will also be responsible for obtaining their own visas. Travelers should be aware that obtaining new passports or renewing expiring passports can take months. Passports should expire no sooner than 6 months prior to their return date to the US. Applicants may want to consider starting the process early in the event they are selected to participate.
  8. Applicants are encouraged to contact ARISC Resident Directors with country-specific questions. Armenia: Ani Apresyan ( Georgia: Diana Lezhava (

Selection Process:

Proposals will be peer-reviewed and judged on their quality and on the potential impact of the teaching proposal to strengthen instruction about the South Caucasus. Participants 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:

  • applicant’s qualifications
  • the extent to which their course or project can be enhanced by incorporating the South Caucasus
  • previous participation in the Teaching the South Caucasus workshop, although it is not required and all interested applicants are encouraged to apply.
  • Applications submitted by instructors at community colleges and minority-serving institutions, particularly those who already completed the “Teaching the South Caucasus Workshop” in 2022 are especially encouraged to apply


Notification of fellowship status will be sent to each applicant via email in February 2023. If you would like to receive any updates to this funding call, please email with your name, contact information, and the subject “Updates to SCOPE 2022-23.”


For more information, please contact

Funding Source:

The funding for this program has been made possible by a generous grant from the US Department of Education’s Title VI American Overseas Research Center program; the U.S. Department of Education’s Title VI National Resource Center program at the Russian, East European, and Eurasian Center (REEEC) at University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign; and 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, color, sex, gender, religion, national origin, physical or mental disability, medical condition, ancestry, marital status, age, sexual orientation, or status as a covered veteran.