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Study of the U.S. Institutes for Scholars (SUSI)

The U.S. Embassy Vienna is pleased to offer this exchange opportunity for scholars and invites applications from interested individuals.
Please find below comprehensive program details, including information on admissions criteria and submission deadline.
We look forward to receiving your application.

Program Overview:

Study of the U.S. Institutes for Scholars (SUSIs) are intensive post-graduate level academic programs that provide foreign university faculty and other scholars the opportunity to deepen their understanding of U.S. society, culture, values, and institutions. The program goal 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 five to six weeks in summer 2024. Each Institute includes a four-week academic residency and up to two weeks for an integrated study tour in another region of the United States.

SUSIs for Scholars comprises the following themes in U.S. Studies: American Politics and Political Thought; Contemporary American Literature; Journalism and Media; U.S. Culture, Identity, and Society; U.S. Economics and Sustainable Development; and U.S. Foreign Policy.

 

The Six Institute Themes:

1. The Institute on American Politics and Political Thought will provide a multinational group of 18 experienced and highly motivated foreign university faculty and practitioners insight into how intellectual and political movements have influenced American political institutions and American democracy. The Institute will explore the shaping of American identity and the interaction between that identity and U.S. history, politics, and the democratic process. The Institute will cover a broad range of American experiences that have influenced and been influenced by American national identity. The Institute will provide a deeper understanding of major currents in U.S. political thought, from the colonial period to the present, and explore contemporary U.S. political and social debates and public policy, relating them back to U.S. political thought and American identity. The University of Montana will administer this program while the University of Massachusetts in Amherst, Massachusetts, will host this Institute.

2. The Institute on Contemporary American Literature will provide a multinational group of 18 experienced and highly motivated foreign university faculty and practitioners with a deeper understanding of U.S. society and culture, past and present, through an examination of contemporary American literature. The Institute will examine how major contemporary writers, schools, and movements reflect the traditional, and evolving, U.S. literary canon. The Institute will also explore the diverse communities and voices that constitute the American literary landscape and expose participants to writers who are establishing new directions for American literature. The Institute will cover a variety of contemporary American writers and texts and suggest how the themes explored reflect larger currents within contemporary U.S. society and culture. The University of Montana in Missoula, Montana, will administer and host this Institute.

3. The Institute on Journalism and Media will provide a multinational group of 18 experienced and highly motivated foreign journalism instructors and other related specialists with a deeper understanding of the roles that journalism and the media play in U.S. society. The Institute will examine the role of journalists in recognizing, pointing out and preventing disinformation and will explore strategies for media and information literacy to counter disinformation. Additionally, the Institute will examine best practices in journalism by discussing the rights and responsibilities of the media in a democratic society, including editorial independence, journalistic ethics, legal constraints, and international journalism. The program will also highlight the impact of technology in journalism, including the influence of the digital economy, globalization of the news media, shifting business and funding models, and other changes that are transforming the profession. The University of Montana will administer this program while Arizona State University in Tempe, Arizona, will host the Institute.

4. The Institute on U.S. Culture, Identity, and Society will provide a multinational group of 18 experienced and highly motivated foreign university faculty and other specialists with a deeper understanding of U.S. society, culture, values, and institutions through the lens of diversity and national unity. The Institute will examine the economic, ethnic, gender, political, racial, religious, and social contexts in which various cultures have manifested in U.S. society while focusing on the ways in which these cultures have influenced social movements and American identity throughout U.S. history. The program will draw from a diverse disciplinary base and will provide a model of how a foreign university might approach the study of American culture and society. The University of Montana will administer this program while Seattle University in Seattle, Washington, will host the Institute.

5. The Institute on U.S. Economics and Sustainable Development will provide a multinational group of 18 experienced foreign university faculty, researchers, practitioners, and policymakers with a deeper understanding of key components and structures of the U.S. economy. Using a multidisciplinary approach, the program will explore various topics of socioeconomics such as how financial institutions, investors, and businesses interact to support sustainable economic development, innovation, and growth; and increasing diverse and equitable employment through institutional regulation, social inclusion strategies, and private and public policies. Throughout the Institute, participants will examine the interplay of climate change, U.S. business innovation, corporate regulation, entrepreneurship, and economic theory. Participants will have opportunities to learn about key institutions and stakeholders in the U.S. economy and meet with a diverse range of business leaders and small business owners, among others. The University of Montana will administer this program while the Institute for Training and Development (ITD), in conjunction with Suffolk University, will jointly host the Institute in Amherst and Boston, Massachusetts.

6. The Institute on U.S. Foreign Policy will provide a multinational group of 18 experienced and highly motivated foreign university faculty and practitioners with a deeper understanding of new approaches to U.S. foreign policy and how U.S. foreign policy is formulated and implemented. The Institute will include a historical review of significant events, individuals, and philosophies that have shaped U.S. foreign policy. The program will explain the role of key influences on U.S. foreign policy including the executive and legislative branches of government, the media, the U.S. public, think tanks, non-governmental organizations, and multilateral institutions. The Institute will also examine the current U.S. foreign policymaking landscape and emerging trends that are shaping policy. The University of Montana will administer this program while the University of Delaware will host the Institute in Newark, Delaware.

 

Candidate Description and Qualifications:

  • Selection for SUSIs for Scholars is 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 limited or no prior 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 from institutions of higher education or research-focused organizations (not-for-profits, think tanks, etc.). While the education level of participants will likely vary, most should have graduate degrees and substantial knowledge of the thematic area of the Institute or a related field.

  • 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 fully and actively participate in all seminar and panel discussions. English fluency is vital to a successful experience in the Institute, for participants as individuals, and to foster a cohesive and interactive group.

  • Ideal candidates come from home institutions seeking to introduce aspects of U.S. studies into its curricula, to develop new courses in the Institute subject, 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.

  • Candidates should be willing and able to fully take part in an intensive post-graduate level academic program. Candidates should be comfortable with campus life and an active program schedule.

 

Other Essential Program Information:

Program Funding: Through an award given to the University of Montana (UM), the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs (ECA)/ U.S. Department of State will cover all participant costs, including program administration; travel allowances, domestic travel, and ground transportation; book, cultural, mailing, and incidental allowances; and housing and subsistence; as well as arrange and pay for participants’ international and visa travel costs and travel allowances within set limits. If the program is conducted virtually, ECA will work with UM to provide a technology stipend 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. If the program is conducted virtually, the same participation requirements apply. Note that Institute curriculum will not formally address teaching methodology and pedagogical methods. Institutes focus on U.S. studies with only a brief focus on the U.S. education system itself.

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.

Health Benefits: All participants will receive the U.S. Department of State’s Accident and Sickness Program for Exchanges (ASPE) health benefit during the U.S.-based in-person component, which 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. Information on the health benefit program may be found online at https://www.sevencorners.com/gov/usdos.

Virtual Program Contingency: Should health, safety, and travel conditions pose significant challenges to the program, SUSIs will pivot to a virtual format. The virtual program would consist of at least 36 hours of required programming and include both synchronous and asynchronous learning. Virtual programming may include lectures, small group discussions, videos, readings, panels, individual assignments, and group activities. Participants would be required to fully participate in the entire virtual program from their location.

Connectivity: Participants should have access to a computer and a stable internet connection for virtual pre-departure orientation sessions. If a participant does not have adequate computer or internet access, the University of Montana (UM) will work with the participant to facilitate access on an as-needed basis. Additionally, 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 access to these two items, UM will work with the participant and the Embassy to facilitate access.

 

Application Components and Submission:

A completed application consists of the following:

Please send your application to ViennaUSEmbassy@state.gov by COB Friday, January 26, 2024. 

Incomplete applications will NOT be considered.