2022 Study of the U.S. Institutes for Scholars – Institute on Religious Pluralism in the United States
Study of the U.S. Institutes for Scholars – Institute on Religious Pluralism in the United States
The Institute on Religious Pluralism in the United States 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 pluralism in the United States and its intersection with American democracy. The program will include a survey of the religious landscape of the United States, including religious groups; an exploration of the historical and contemporary relationship between church and state in the United States; an examination of the ways in which religious thought and practice have modified and have been influenced by, the development of American-style democracy; and discussions on the intersections of religion and politics in the United States in such areas as elections, public policy, and foreign policy. Participants will have opportunities to meet U.S. community leaders of different faiths who advocate for collaboration and tolerance among religious groups. The Institute for Training and Development (ITD) in Amherst, MA will oversee and administer this program; Seattle University in Seattle, WA will conduct and host the Institute.
Study of the U.S. Institutes for Scholars (SUSIs) are intensive post-graduate level academic programs 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 at 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 2022. 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: http://exchanges.state.gov/susi.
Note: Should health, safety, and travel conditions continue to pose significant challenges, the programs will pivot to a modified virtual format.
Study of the U.S. Institutes for Scholars comprise the following themes in U.S. Studies:
- American Culture and Values;
- Journalism and Media;
- Religious Pluralism in the United States;
- U.S. Economics and Business;
- U.S. Foreign Policy;
- Workforce Development.
All participant costs will be covered, including travel allowances, domestic travel and ground transportation; book, cultural, mailing and incidental allowances; and housing and subsistence, international and visa travel costs and travel allowances within set limits.
If the program is conducted virtually, a technology stipend will be provided to all participants.
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. If the program is conducted virtually, the same participation requirements apply.
Housing and Meal Arrangements
Each participant will have a private room but may be required to share a bathroom with a participant of the same gender during the Institute. Most meals will be provided at campus facilities; participants may have access to a kitchen to cook some meals on their own.
Care will be taken to ensure that any special requirements regarding diet, daily worship, housing, and medical care are satisfied. However, while Institute staff will make available special accommodations to the greatest extent possible, scholars must be reminded that full participation in all Institute activities is still expected. Should a participant need to quarantine due to positive COVID-19 test results, accommodations will follow Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidelines.
International and visa travel will be covered. Each participant will also be provided with a $100 travel allowance. The host institutions will cover any travel within the United States during the Institute.
All participants will receive the U.S. Department of State’s Accident and Sickness Program for Exchanges (ASPE) health benefit, that provides coverage of up to $100,000 with a $25 co-pay per medical visit and a $75 co-pay per emergency room visit, for the duration of the program. Pre-existing conditions may be covered up to $100,000, subject to policy exclusions and limitations. COVID-19 is treated like any other illness under the ASPE policy. Information on the health benefit program may be found online at https://www.sevencorners.com/gov/usdos.
Violations of program rules, U.S. host institution rules, or U.S. local, state or federal laws can be grounds for immediate dismissal from the program.
Virtual Program Contingency
Should health, safety, and travel conditions continue to pose significant challenges, the SUSI will pivot to a virtual format. The virtual program will consist of a minimum of 36 hours of required programming and will be a combination of synchronous and asynchronous learning. To the extent possible, the virtual programming will include lectures, small group discussions, videos, readings, panels, site visits, assignments, and individual and group activities. Participants are required to fully participate in the entire virtual program from their home location outside the United States.
Should the program need to pivot to a virtual format, participants would need access to a computer and a stable internet connection. If a participant does not have a computer or adequate internet access, the organizers will work with the participant to facilitate computer access on an as-needed basis. Participants would be expected to actively engage in all program activities, and therefore, they should notify immediately the host institution and post of any issues with their online access during the duration of the program as well as any difficulties affecting their participation.
Candidate Description and Qualifications
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 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 from their participation in the Institute is equally important. Ideal candidates will have little or no prior experience living or visiting in the United States.
Candidates must demonstrate English language fluency. Institutes are rigorous and demanding academic programs conducted entirely in English. Participants will be expected to read and comprehend substantial written materials and assignments in English and to participate in all seminar and panel discussions fully and actively. English fluency is vital to a successful experience in the Institute, for participants as individuals and to foster a cohesive and interactive group.
Candidates should be willing and able to fully take part in an intensive post-graduate level academic program. Candidates must be 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.
Competition opens on November 19th and closes December 19th 2021.
Only pre-selected candidates will be invited to an interview during the month of January 2022. All candidates will be notified of application results by early April 2022.
Please, direct your information requests to firstname.lastname@example.org.
- 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.
- U.S. citizens and permanent residents (green card holders) are NOT eligible to participate in this program.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Because of the intensive nature of the Institutes, participants will NOT be able to leave the Institute to visit relatives or friends.
- Relatives are NOT permitted to travel or stay with a participant during the program. There are no exceptions to this rule.
- The Study of the U.S. Branch strives to have the best possible diversity and gender balance in each Institute.
- 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.
- 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.
- All participants are expected to participate in all scheduled lectures, events, site visits, trips, and activities.
- 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 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.
- 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.