CONTEMPORARY ISSUES FELLOWSHIP PROGRAM
The Contemporary Issues Fellowship Program, was a program of the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, US Department of State and implemented by IREX (the International Research & Exchanges Board), provides opportunities for experienced professionals and specialists in Eurasia to conduct policy-oriented research in the United States for four months. Fellowships are available to citizens of: Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyz Republic, Moldova, Russian Federation, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Ukraine, and Uzbekistan.
All applications must contain developed and focused research projects that are policy-driven with practical application in Eurasia. Research proposals must address one of the following categories:
|Journalism & Media
NGO Development & Management
Public Administration (Government)
Public Health Policy
Rule of Law
The fellowship is fully funded and provides:
- Round-trip travel from fellows home cities in Eurasia to their US host institutions;
- Housing and monthly stipend for living expenses in the United States;
- Professional development allowance; and
- Accident and sickness medical coverage.
Applications for the FSA Contemporary Issues Fellowship Program are not currently being accepted.
REGIONAL SCHOLAR EXCHANGE PROGRAM (RSEP)
The Regional Scholar Exchange Program (RSEP) provides opportunities for junior and mid-level university faculty, researchers, and PhD candidates in the social sciences and humanities from Eurasia and the United States to conduct independent research overseas.
Since 1993, RSEP has given specialists in each region access to resources and opportunities for collaboration previously unavailable to them, in order to further the development of higher education and scholarship in their countries. RSEP offers four-month programs in the United States for scholars from Eurasia, and programs up to nine months in Eurasia for scholars from the US.
Applications for the RSEP program are not currently being accepted.
The growth of civil society and the successful transition to a market economy in all the nations of Eurasia will continue to demand people with critical, specialized skills in many fields and professions. As a result, the Community Connections Program, sponsored by the US Department of State, Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs (ECA), provides US based professional development internships and training to individuals working in fields such as small business development, educational administration, and conflict prevention.
In 2002-2003 International Research and Exchanges Board (IREX) (www.irex.org) will be conducting an open, merit-based competition in Kyrgyzstan, which will send 40 community leaders to the United States. Community Connections also exists in such CIS countries as Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Moldova, Russia, Ukraine and Uzbekistan. All finalists participate in three to five week professional development programs in US communities. Community Connections consists of two types of programs, one targeting entrepreneurs and the other targeting mid-level professionals from various fields. The Business program places entrepreneurs in internships with small and medium-sized businesses.
Participants gain expertise and business management skills specific to their own business activities in Kyrgyzstan. The professional participants take part in a group-oriented program that allows them to meet and work alongside their US counterparts.
More than 50 US cities serve as hosts for the Community Connections Program. Participants travel in groups of ten, live with US host families, and experience hands-on training in their professional fields to develop critical skills that can be transferred to their careers in Kyrgyzstan.
The Community Connections Program is a link between communities. The program is designed to build bridges of friendship between citizens of Kyrgyzstan and citizens of the United States.
The aims of the Community Connections Program in Kyrgyzstan are:
- To build ties between host cities of the United States and different regions of Kyrgyzstan;
- To demonstrate effective methods for business development designed by American specialists entrepreneurs;
- To create a forum for exchange of ideas in education administration;
- To facilitate dialogue between different interest groups in diverse communities within Kyrgyzstan;
- To build skills in peaceful conflict prevention and resolution.
Specialists working in certain fields living in targeted regions in Kyrgyzstan are invited to take part in this program. Every year the Public Affairs Section of the U.S. Embassy and IREX establish recruitment themes and cities. The program is then publicized in the appropriate regions to provide information about the exact program offered in that area.
Applications for the Community Connections Program are not currently being accepted.
EDUCATION INFORMATION CENTER
For many years, the worldwide network of education advising/information centers (EICs) supported by the US Department of State"s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs (ECA) helped international students gain access to information on studying in the United States. For many students and scholars in Europe and Eurasia, EICs are the only source of free, accurate, objective, and comprehensive information on educational opportunities in the United States. They are an important tool for promoting the self-funded study that is increasingly within reach for many students in Europe and Eurasia as well as US government-sponsored exchange and training programs.
The International Research & Exchanges Board (IREX) administered four ECA-sponsored centers in Moscow and Vladivostok, Russia; Yerevan, Armenia; and Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan that served over 115,000 clients each year.
Education Information Center (IREX/Bishkek)
Our services are but not limited to:
- Advising students and scholars of different opportunities for study or research in the United States;
- Teaching students and scholars about the application process (both for competition and entrance into a university) through private consultations and lectures such as If You Want to Study in the United States, How to Write a Statement of Purpose How to Write a Resume, How to Fill Out an Application (same as Statement).
- Putting up weekly postings of educational/research programs and other events (i.e. seminars, conferences, calls for papers, etc.) available to students and scholars;
- Loaning out materials on US educational institutions, preparation guides for the TOEFL, GRE and GMAT, and other books relevant to higher education in the US;
- Providing space and audio/visual equipment for students to listen to tape cassettes or watch videos on US universities and the US education system;
- Announcing and distributing information on IREX and other education programs (e.g. ACCELS, Soros, Fulbright, etc.);
- Organizing lectures prior to all major educational programs;
On a regular basis the Center delivers lectures on the following topics:
- If you want to study in US
- Overview of current programs
- US educational system
- Financial Aid Opportunities
- How to Write a Statement of Purpose, etc.
The schedule of lectures is set up beforehand and hung on the Centers Bulletin Board. Interested universities and educational institutions are asked to check with the EIC about the following months lecture schedule.
Bishkek-IREX EIC gives consultations to interested individuals about preparations to study in the US, about registering for the TOEFL, GRE, GMAT, SAT, and other standardized tests. The Center has two computers with CD-ROM for individual training for computer-based tests.
Internet and computer facilities
IREX-Bishkek EIC provides Internet public access. The purpose of the site is to allow persons to find information on the educational system, study and funding opportunities, program information, etc. We have 4 computers for Internet public access and interested individuals can use this service at the EIC.
Currently, the EIC is administered by Soros Foundation Kyrgyzstan (www.soros.kg)
MEDIA SUSTAINABILITY INDEX
Media Sustainability Index (MSI) provides in-depth analysis of the conditions for independent media in 20 countries across Europe and Eurasia. Since it was first conceived in 2000, in cooperation with the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), the MSI has evolved into an important benchmark study to assess how media structures change over time and across borders.
The MSI is implemented in Southeast Europe and Eurasia by International Research & Exchanges Board (IREX) with the cooperation and the support of USAID. The project creates a standardized method to measure the state of media in a given country. The MSI creates a baseline of indicators against which aspects of media development can be evaluated and monitored over time, as well as compared across many countries. The MSI also helps evaluate local and international efforts in order to improve aid coordination and activities in media development in the monitored countries.
The Media Sustainability Index report assesses the stages of development of media along the following criteria, presented as five objectives:
* Is freedom of speech/access to public information protected/promoted by legal and social norms?
* Are quality journalism standards met, and to what extent?
* Is objective/reliable information available from a plurality of sources, and to what extent?
* Are independent media well managed and do they allow editorial independence?
* Do supporting institutions function in the professional interests of independent media?
The most important findings of the media assessment are published in the MSI report available to all who are interested in media development and in democracy and economic development more broadly. More information you can find at http://www.irex.org/msi
THE INTERNET ACCESS AND TRAINING PROGRAM (IATP)
The Internet Access and Training Program (IATP) is a program of the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs (ECA) of the US Department of State. IATP consists of a network of Internet access sites located throughout 11 countries of Eurasia. Through these sites, thousands of individuals per month receive free-of-charge access to the Internet as well as to a wide variety of computer-related training programs. IREX-administered IATP access sites are located in the countries of Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Moldova, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Ukraine, and Uzbekistan.
IATP began in the mid 1990s. At that time, the program was aimed at providing Internet access and training exclusively to scholars from Eurasia who had participated in US government-sponsored exchange programs. Through its services, IATP helped these exchange program alumni stay in contact with the professional colleagues they had made while in the United States, assisting them in the process of continuing their research and academic growth once back home. Over time, IATP gradually began to provide Internet access and training to other non-alumni groups such as journalists, lawyers, NGO representatives, and students. Providing the services of the program to new audiences has continued to this day. Today, IATP provides its services to the public at large in the countries in which it works.
Almost all IATP access sites are housed within local partner institutions. These institutions typically include public libraries, universities, and NGOs. An IATP access site usually occupies one room in the partner institution’s premises. This room houses all IATP equipment, computer-related books and manuals, and an IREX staff member who overseas the operations of the access site. In a limited number of cases, IATP sites are part of the larger IREX office in a given country.
IATP undertakes four primary activities—provided free of charge—through its network of sites:
- Internet Access. Users can reserve time in increments of one hour to access e-mail and the Internet, or use the computers for other purposes such as word processing.
- Training. Members of the public can enroll in a wide variety of training courses on information technology. These include basic courses in computer literacy to higher-end training on subjects such as Web programming and network administration.
- Online Chats: Chats have evolved into a valuable medium for exchanging unrestricted information about events across borders, offering an alternative perspective to state-controlled media. For example, a series of chats beginning in February 2005 gave Central Asian journalists and NGO leaders an opportunity to learn about Ukraine’s so-called “Orange Revolution” directly from Ukrainian political scientists and journalists. Nationwide chats held in Ukraine in December gave librarians the opportunity to lobby the Ministry of Culture for simplification of the regulations regarding procurement. This lobbying effort was successful, and is being studied among librarians in other countries across Eurasia through additional online chats.
- Web Hosting: IATP partners with users to create websites and other electronic media. The focus is on creating resources in local languages, making Internet usage more relevant and useful within each of the countries.
IREX works to run IATP less like a foreign technical assistance program and more like a community-based technology initiative. One way to do this is by attempting to create a sense of community at IATP sites that encourages users to share their knowledge and time for the benefit of others and the program as a whole. For example, users volunteer at IATP sites to assist with tasks such as routine computer maintenance and translation of materials for publication on the Web. In other cases, users donate their time to conduct Internet training that ties Internet usage with a specific theme such as journalism, environmental conservation, organizational networking, or language teaching. The institutions that house IATP access sites also contribute to community buy-in and support by providing a substantial amount of cost-share. Cost-share most often takes the form of a partner institution providing IATP with free rent, utilities, and security.
FELLOWSHIPS IN UNIVERSITY ADMINISTRATION (UASP)
Overview of the IREX University Administration Support Program
With primary support from the Carnegie Corporation of New York, IREX has designed the University Administration Support Program (UASP) to contribute to improving administration in a selected number of universities in the following countries: Armenia, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russian Federation, and Ukraine. Program elements include:
- Fellowships in University Administration. IREX provides competitively awarded short-term fellowships for mid and senior-level university administrators to spend approximately eight weeks with counterparts at respected US public universities to work on specific university administration reform projects. The fellows will travel to the US in two cohorts of 10 administrators each in fall 2008 or winter 2009. While in the US the fellows are required to prepare a case study on the reform issue addressed. The case studies are then published and distributed to universities participating in the program.
- Pilot Project Grants. Fellows in university administration will be eligible to compete for small grants to support pilot reform projects at their home universities upon their return home.
Eligibility Requirements for the Fellowships in University Administration
- Be a citizen of and reside in Armenia, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, and Ukraine at the time of application and participation in the program;
- Submit a complete application with all required documents by the application deadline;
- Have a high level of proficiency in written and spoken English necessary to work independently in the United States and engage colleagues;
- Be able to receive and maintain a J-1 visa;
- Be able to participate in fellowships for approximately eight weeks either in fall 2008 or in winter 2009;
- Be committed to researching and writing a case study on a topic of university administration while in the United States; and
- Hold a full-time position with the title of Pro-Rector, Dekan, Department Chair, or equivalent at one of the eligible universities or working in an equivalent management position focusing on higher education reform in the Ministry of Education and Science. See below for the list of eligible universities.
List of eligible universities:
Arabaev Kyrgyz State Pedagogical University
Balasagyn Kyrgyz National University
Bishkek Humanitarian University
Issykkul State University
Jalalabad State University
Naryn State University
Osh State University
Talas State University
Applications not meeting the above eligibility requirements will not be forwarded to the selection committee.
Current IREX employees and consultants and their immediate family members (spouses, parents, children, and siblings) are not eligible to compete in any IREX-administered grant programs, either as individuals or as the responsible party representing an institutional applicant.
April 14, 2008: Application deadline
June 2008: Semi-finalists interviews.
July 2008: Finalists notification
Mid-October – Mid-December, 2008: Cohort I Program in United States
Mid-January – Mid-March, 2009: Cohort II Program in the United States
A panel of experienced international university administrators using the following criteria will review applications submitted to the Fellowships in University Administration Program Criteria (not in order of importance):
- Relevance of the proposal in relation to the priorities of the applicant’s university
- Potential impact of the project on the home university
- Approval and interest of the Rector of the applicant’s university
- Adequate professional experience of applicant
- English language ability and communication skills
- Leadership potential of applicant
Finalists and semi-finalists may be called for a telephone or in-person interview.
Financial and Professional Provisions of the Grant
The program provides the following:
- J-1 visa support for the period of the program
- Round-trip travel from fellows’ home cities to the US host institutions
- Accident and sickness insurance
- An orientation in Washington, DC at the start of the program
- Housing and $38/day daily allowance for meals and incidentals
- Professional development allowance of $1000 for educational materials, professional conferences and membership in U.S. professional associations
- A two-day case study presentation workshop in Washington, DC at the end of the program
A Pilot Project Grants competition for alumni of the fellowships will enable universities to jump-start reforms stemming from the Fellowships in University Administration program. The next competition will be in spring 2009.
US Host Institution Affiliation
Fellows will be affiliated with administrative departments of US public universities across the United States appropriate to their research objectives. They will be matched with a mentor who will introduce them to the system of administration at their university. Applicants may suggest US institutions where they would prefer to conduct their research in the application form. IREX will identify an appropriate US institution based on the fellows’ preferences, their universities’ contacts, recommendations of senior specialists and scholars in the United States, and knowledge of US institutions. All final host affiliations will be decided by IREX, and IREX does not guarantee placement at host institutions suggested by the applicant.
The deadline for applications is April 14, 2008 at 5:00 PM.
The original application with all supporting documents and 4 copies should be sent to the local IREX office listed below. DO NOT send applications to the IREX office in Washington, DC. Late or incomplete applications will not be considered.
IREX reserves the right to verify all of the information indicated in the application. In the event that there is a discrepancy, or information is found to be false, the application will immediately be declared invalid, and the applicant ineligible.
TEA 2009 Finalists and Alternates have been notified. On August 3-4 Finalists will have Pre-Departure Orientation and Visa interviews in Bishkek.
EXPLANATION OF THE PROJECT AREAS
An Admissions Management office develops, plans and implements all on- and off-campus recruitment activities. Among these recruitment activities include secondary school visitations, college fair programs, group information sessions, campus tours, fall and spring open house days, multicultural weekend programs, and alumni volunteering programs. In addition to recruitment activities, the Admissions Management office is responsible for organizing, planning, and conducting an annual review of applications for undergraduate admission, planning and production of recruitment publications, and the development of the admissions web site.
A university’s faculty is one of its greatest assets. A program of faculty development is dedicated to supporting the ongoing personal and professional growth of all faculty: full time and part time lecturers and professors. By providing your faculty with information, trainings, forums, connections, and other support services and activities, the program vitalizes the faculty, strengthens the university, improves the quality of instruction, and helps the university better serve the community. Faculty Development recognizes faculty in their multiple roles as teachers, scholars, professionals, and community members.
Human Resource Management
The role of a Human Resource Management office is to design, develop and continually refine a comprehensive human resources management program for the university. The goal of this program is to attract, reward, and retain a high quality faculty and administrative and support staff to meet the educational mission of the university. The Office of Human Resource Management provides services to the university community in the recruitment and training of employees, in the administration of benefits and compensation, promoting equal opportunities, managing job performance, developing and interpreting policy, and promoting effective work relationships.
Campus Life/Student Services
An office of Campus Life/Student Services is committed to working primarily with students, but also with faculty and staff from all areas of the university to build an open, inclusive, intellectual, and multicultural community. The office provides a variety of programs and services that monitor the quality of the campus environment, assists students with campus housing, coordinates college responses to campus and individual student crises, and oversees the non-academic discipline process. Retention efforts, student advocacy, and diversity issues are also concerns of this office. Programs offered through this office give students the opportunity for direct participation in activities involving their academic, emotional, spiritual, or career-related development. The services provided assist students both in making their way through college and then making the transition to their post-graduate lives. This office organizes activities and clubs for students in all areas that may be of interest.
Quality Assurance is the responsibility each higher education institution has for ensuring that appropriate standards are being achieved, good quality education is being offered, and that internationally recognized programs are being developed. A quality assurance office would be responsible for the development, implementation, operation and monitoring of the university’s procedures for the approval and ongoing evaluation of its academic programs, coordinating university processes relating to teaching and learning quality, designing systemic approaches and developing instruments for academic staff to use in measuring and monitoring teaching and learning quality, and developing both formal and informal procedures related to the evaluation of teaching and learning quality in university programs, courses, and units. The office would evaluate the work and academic activities of faculty members, as well as their methods of teaching and academic research through various assessment models and strengthen research by further developing the university’s research capacity and research management plan.
A university board of trustees is responsible for the overall direction of the university. This governing board approves the operating budgets, supervises the investment of the university’s endowment, and oversees long range planning. The trustees also exercise prior review and approval concerning changes in major policies, such as those in instructional programs and admission, as well as tuition and fees and the hiring of key university personnel. The university board of trustees is generally formed of prominent individuals who are not part of the university. People that are in key leadership and management positions such as the state governor, head of a bank, or president of a foundation, are invited to serve on a university board of trustees.
An alumni relations office exists both to maintain relationships with graduates and friends as well as securing donations to help advance the university. The office provides services as alumni communications which could consist of mailings, electronic or paper newsletters, the updating of alumni contact information, the creation and maintenance of an alumni association, and planning events for alumni. This office also helps the alumni in their career planning and establishing further training opportunities for the alumni.
The Office of Community Relations is the primary contact for individuals, business and community organizations, and local municipalities that want to be involved with the university. The office works to develop and enhance the university’s relations with a wide range of groups to promote mutual understanding, coordinate the campus’s response to local public policy issues, and help members of the community access the university’s resources.
The Office of Fundraising/Development is the central point for coordinating and generating philanthropic support for the future development and success of the university. The office manages the university’s fundraising program and seeks donations to support the work of the university from alumni, companies, trusts and other organizations.
Integration of Teaching and Research
The integration of teaching and research at a university enables its students to utilize their independence and creativity. It is important as it improves the quality of teaching effectiveness and student learning. Through integration of teaching and research teaching and research personnel such as teachers, scholars, and professionals receive support to provide instructional enhancement at the levels of course, curriculum planning and student learning. The teaching and research integration also advocates for organizational development to build university structures and resources which will be effective in supporting teaching and research projects.
The university conducts research management by: administering and awarding research grants from government and other sources, managing intellectual property and technology transfer, coordinating research support services, and providing information and access to a university’s faculty and their fields of research. Through research management the university promotes research and technology development internally and externally, and facilitates the needs of researchers across the university. Also, the university comes up with norms and procedures for conducting research studies and for recognizing the research methodology.
University Financing and Budget Management
The university maximizes the effective use of university resources through financing and budget management. Finance and budget management incorporates annual budget development and management. The budget formation modules and the broader issues of financing sources such as federal versus state provided funding are also part of this process along with providing coordination and oversight of all facets of the university’s operating budget and continuous improvement in the university’s budget process. To come up with the annual budget modules the university administration consults with faculty, staff, and students on planning issues and resource needs.
Through building corporate relations the university initiates and coordinates interactions with corporations on behalf of the university. It engages in relationships with corporations that support the university’s teaching, research, and service mission. It establishes mutually beneficial collaborations, partnerships, and sponsorships at the local, national, and international level in areas as philanthropy, sponsored research, student recruitment, technology transfer, and continuing education.
Government Relations promote effective communication between representatives of the university and representatives of local, regional and federal government. The university representatives monitor federal legislation and serve as liaisons between members of the government and university. University members also work with elected officials and government agencies to provide information and research findings that may help them in their work.
The Office of International Relations is responsible for promoting and coordinating the growth of international studies and programs at a university. This office executes the university’s policies regarding external affairs and the coordination of international academic exchange, oversees foreign visitors and students to the university, invites foreign experts to the university, participates in student recruitment and receives foreign students, scholars, and visiting professors while also coordinating all logistics associated with their studies and living arrangements. The office also handles international conference requests, and maintains contact information and relations with foreign universities.
Strategic planning is a process of identifying, recording, and tracking the progression of organizational goals. A university’s strategic plan is a document that captures what goals are hoped to be accomplished from a broad perspective. The Office of Strategic Planning creates the institution’s mission, identifies objectives and market opportunities, and creates operating plans to effectively achieve this mission.