The Institute on Religious Freedom and Pluralism will provide a multinational group of up to 18 experienced foreign university faculty, scholars, researchers and religious leaders with a deeper understanding of U.S. society and culture, past and present, through an examination of religious freedom as a foundational American value. The program will include a survey of the religious landscape of the United States, including major and minor religious groups; historic religious traditions and contemporary American religious groups will also be included. The Institute will explore both the historical and contemporary relationship between church and state in the United States; examine interfaith understanding and dialogue, religious pluralism, freedom of religion as a fundamental unalienable human right and source of stability; and discuss ways in which religious freedom is protected. In addition, the Institute will examine the intersections of religion and politics in the United States, especially in U.S. foreign policy. Participants will have opportunities to meet with U.S. community leaders of different faiths who advocate for collaboration and tolerance among religious groups.  The program will take place during the June to August timeframe in 2020.  The implementing institution will be known in April 2020.

Program overview

Study of the U.S. Institutes for Scholars (SUSIs) are intensive post-graduate level academic programs with integrated study tours whose purpose is to provide foreign university faculty and other scholars the opportunity to deepen their understanding of U.S. society, culture, values, and institutions. The ultimate goal of the Institutes is to strengthen curricula and to enhance the quality of teaching about the United States in academic institutions abroad.

Study of the U.S. Institutes for Scholars will take place at various colleges, universities, and academic institutions throughout the United States over the course of six weeks beginning in or after June 2020.  Each Institute includes a four-week academic residency component and up to two weeks of an integrated study tour to another region of the United States.  Prospective applicants are encouraged to visit our website page to obtain general information about the Institutes.  The website address is: http://exchanges.state.gov/susi. The Study of the U.S. Institutes for Scholars will be on the following themes in U.S. Studies:

  • American Culture and Values;
  • Journalism and Media;
  • Religious Freedom and Pluralism;
  • U.S. Economics and Business;
  • U.S. Foreign Policy; and
  • Youth, Workforce Development, and Closing the Skills Gap.

Program Funding

All participant costs will be covered, including international and domestic travel in the United States, housing and subsistence, and book, cultural, mailing, and incidental allowances.

Housing and Meal Arrangements

When possible, each participant will have a private room with a shared bathroom during the residency portion (four weeks) of the Institute.  However, private room accommodations are not guaranteed. During the study tour (up to two weeks), participants will likely share a hotel room with another participant of the same gender.  During the residency, housing will typically be in college or university owned housing.  Most meals will be provided at campus facilities, though participants may have access to a kitchen to cook some meals on their own. Full details will be provided at a latter stage. Care will be taken to ensure that any special requirements regarding diet, daily worship, housing, and medical care are satisfied.

Travel Arrangements

International and visa travel will be covered. Each participant will also be provided with a $100 travel allowance. In all Institutes, the host institutions will cover all travel within the United States during the Institute.

Health Benefits

All participants will receive the Department of State’s coverage of $100,000, with a $25 co-pay per medical visit and $75 co-pay per emergency room visit, for the duration of the program. Information on the health benefit program may be found online at https://www.sevencorners.com/gov/usdos.

Program Requirements and Restrictions

All participants are expected to participate fully in the program. Candidates should be aware that they are applying for an intensive program and there will be little time for personal pursuits unrelated to the program. The Institute is not a research program. Participants must attend all lectures and organized activities and complete assigned readings. Family members and/or friends may not accompany participants on any part of the program. Please note that Institute curriculum will not formally address teaching methodology and pedagogical methods

Candidate description and qualification

Study of the U.S. Institutes for Scholars are highly competitive. Priority will be given to candidates who have firm plans to enhance, update or develop courses and/or educational materials with a U.S. studies focus or component; who have no prior or limited experience in the United States; and who have special interest in the program subject areas as demonstrated through past scholarship, accomplishments, and professional duties.

Candidates should be mid-career, typically between the ages of 30-50, highly motivated, experienced scholars and professionals generally from institutions of higher education or research focused organizations (not-for-profits, think tanks, etc.). While the educational level of participants will likely vary, most should have graduate degrees and have substantial knowledge of the thematic area of the Institute or a related field.

Ideal candidates are individuals whose home institution is seeking to introduce aspects of U.S. studies into its curricula, to develop new courses in the subject of the Institute, to enhance and update existing courses on the United States, or to offer specialized seminars/workshops for professionals in U.S. studies areas related to the program theme. While the nominee’s scholarly and professional credentials are an important consideration, the potential impact and multiplier effect of the Institute is equally important. Ideal candidates will have little or no prior experience in the United States.

Candidates must demonstrate English language fluency. Institutes are rigorous and demanding programs. Participants will be expected to handle substantial reading assignments in English and to fully and actively participate in all seminar and panel discussions. English fluency is vital to a successful experience in the Institute, both for your participant and participants from other countries.

Candidates should be willing and able to fully take part in an intensive post-graduate level academic program and study tour. It is important that participants are comfortable with campus life and an active program schedule. Candidates from disadvantaged groups, individuals with disabilities, and women are encouraged to apply. While senior faculty members and new professionals to the field are eligible applicants, first consideration will be given to mid-career professionals with little or no prior experience in the United States.

Application deadline

January 15th, 2020 (10:00 AM, Lisbon time)

Selection process

Only pre-selected candidates will be invited to an interview on January 22nd. All candidates will be notified of application results until late March.

Application

>>Click here to access the application form<<

Information requests

Please, direct your information requests to rsequeira@fulbright.pt

Important information

  1. All participants must be fully proficient in English; throughout the Institute, they will need to fully understand lectures, actively participate in discussions, and read and write assignments in English.
  2. U.S. citizens and permanent residents (green card holders) are NOT eligible to participate in this program.
  3. Candidates with some experience in the United States can be considered for the program.  Please be sure to clearly indicate the purpose of your prior visit(s) to the United States, the year, and the length of stay.
  4. There will be some free time during the program as well as some time designated for independent research. However, participants MUST understand that this is an intensive academic program and they are expected to participate in all lectures, activities, and scheduled events. Participants in Scholar Institutes may, at their own expense, opt to extend their stay in the United States after the close of their program to the extent allowed by visa regulations.
  5. We will consider candidates from a variety of professional backgrounds who are professors at all stages of their careers, practitioners in a designated field, college and university administrators, and community leaders, among others.
  6. Because of the intensive nature of the Institutes, participants will NOT be able to leave the Institute to visit relatives or friends.  Participants in Scholar Institutes may, at their own expense, opt to extend their stay in the United States after the close of their program to the extent allowed by visa regulations.
  7. Relatives are NOT permitted to travel or stay with a participant during the program. There are no exceptions to this rule. Participants in Scholar Institutes may, at their own expense, opt to extend their stay in the United States after the close of their program to the extent allowed by visa regulations.
  8. The Study of the U.S. Branch strives to have the best possible diversity and gender balance in each Institute. If a selected candidate is not able to participate, the Study of the U.S. Branch will choose a candidate from the alternate list, if time allows.  Alternates are listed in alphabetical order (not rank).
  9. Participants are expected to arrive on the Institute start date. Occasionally flight schedules necessitate that a participant to arrive a day early. These situations will be addressed on a case-by-case basis. Participants will have an opportunity to review their flight itinerary before it is booked. Once the host institution has booked the itinerary, the participant is responsible for making and paying for any itinerary changes, should the participant choose to change their plans.
  10. Under the terms of their J-1 visas, participants have up to 30 days after the end of the program to depart from the United States. However, the participant must be aware that s/he is responsible for all expenses after the end of the Institute and will no longer have sponsored health benefits.
  11. All participants are expected to participate in all scheduled lectures, events, site visits, trips, and activities.
  12. The Study of the U.S. Institutes cover all costs of an individual’s participation including transportation, lodging, and meals. Generally, host institutions provide for meals through a combination of a cafeteria meal plan and cash allowance to permit participants to cook or eat at local restaurants. Information on housing and meal arrangements will be provided by the host institution approximately six weeks prior to the start of the Institute. Participants should bring their own spending money if they wish to purchase souvenirs or other items during their time in the United States. All participating scholars will receive a stipend to purchase books and research materials while in the United States.
  13. The Study of the U.S. Branch welcomes individuals with disabilities. We are committed to working with our Institute hosts to arrange reasonable accommodations for all participants. While notification of a disability will not negatively impact selection, we ask that you identify disabilities during the application process to ensure appropriate accommodations.
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