Study of the U.S. Institutes for Scholars – Institute on Religious Freedom and Pluralism
(Next competition expected for December this year) The Institute on Religious Freedom and Pluralism will provide a multinational group of up to 18 foreign university faculty and practitioners 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. Employing a multi-disciplinary approach and drawing on fields such as history, political science, anthropology and sociology, law, and others, the program will explore both the historical and contemporary relationship between religion and state in the United States. Participants will examine the ways in which religious thought and practice have influenced, and been influenced by the development of American-style democracy. Study will also include a survey of the diversity of contemporary religious beliefs in relation to the first amendment to the U.S. constitution, elections, public policy, and the demography of the United States. Interfaith dialogue in the American context will be practiced in the context of the group itself as well as site visits to a diversity of religious communities. The Institute will be hosted by the Dialogue Institute at Temple University in Philadelphia, PA.
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 2019. 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
All participant costs will be covered, including program administration; travel and ground transportation 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 once they are set. Candidates need to make sure that they are comfortable with such arrangements, particularly sharing a room with another participant during the study tour.
Care will be taken to ensure that any special requirements regarding diet, daily worship, housing, and medical care are satisfied. Please note that a portion of the program may take place during Ramadan. While the host institution will make every effort to accommodate participants who are fasting, participants should be made aware of the rigorous nature of the Institute and the expectation that the success of the Institute depends on their full participation.
Round trip international travel and all travel within the United States during the Institute will be covered.
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. Pre-existing conditions are not covered. 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 need to 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 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 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. In addition, every effort will be made to have both a geographic and gender balance in the makeup of the Institute.
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. Efforts will be made to receive applications from diverse candidates including candidates from disadvantaged groups, including individuals with disabilities, and women. 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.
Other factors for consideration
One participant will be selected per Institute. Candidates will be notified regarding selection or non-selection of candidates by April 2019.
This section addresses some commonly asked questions by posts. If you cannot find an answer to your question, please send an email 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.
- Applicants who do not hold Portuguese citizenship may also be considered for selection.
- Nominees with some experience in the United States can be considered for the program.
- 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.
- Nominees who are professors at all stages of their careers, practitioners in a designated field, college and university administrators, and community leaders among others can be considered to participate in the program.
- 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.
- 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 U.S. after the close of their program to the extent allowed by visa regulations.
- Under the terms of their J-1 visas, participants have up to 30 days after the end of the program to depart from the U.S. 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 ECA-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 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 U.S. as well as a certain amount to cover mailing costs.
- The Study of the U.S. Branch welcomes nominations for 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 indicate disabilities during the application process.