The Fulbright Visiting Scholar Program for Iraq is designed to bring junior Iraqi scholars to U.S. host institutions for faculty development, mentoring, and cultural exchange activities. The intent of the ten-week program is to equip scholars with the knowledge and tools needed to build the capacity of universities in Iraq and to advance the education of future generations of Iraqis. In addition, it lays the foundation for Iraqi scholars and their U.S. hosts to develop long-term institutional relationships and to identify areas of cooperation that can be sustained beyond the grant period.
Participating institutions will enjoy a unique opportunity to establish lasting relationships with faculty members at universities in Iraq and to build upon current efforts to internationalize their campuses and surrounding communities.
Funded by the U.S. Embassy Baghdad, Iraq and supported by U.S. Department of State Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs (ECA), this program is administered by the Council for International Exchange of Scholars (CIES), a division of the Institute of International Education (IIE).
Through this request for proposal, CIES seeks four host institutions to implement the ten-week summer program scheduled to be held from June 29, 2014 through September 6, 2014. Approximately eight scholars will be placed in disciplined-based cohorts at each of the four selected U.S. host institutions. U.S. host institutions are to submit a proposal to host scholars in one of the following disciplines:
- American Literature
- Science and Technology
- TEFL/Applied Linguistics
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- Build higher education capacity in Iraq through faculty development and mentoring for junior scholars
- Foster long-term collaboration and institutional linkages between Iraqi scholars and U.S. academics
- Promote mutual understanding between Iraqis and Americans by facilitating the scholars’ engagement with the broader host campus community
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The scholars will be nominated through an open, merit-based competition run by the Public Affairs Section of U.S. Embassy in Baghdad. Final selection of the scholars will be made in January 2014.
The junior faculty will be, at a minimum, full-time instructors or lecturers with M.A./M.S. degrees. Some may have Ph.D. degrees. All scholars will also have several years of university-level teaching experience in one of the four academic disciplines. They will be highly motivated to engage with colleagues and others within their communities and campuses in the United States. Every effort will be made to select candidates representing a broad range of universities and regions throughout Iraq. Each participant will have taken the Institutional TOEFL or TOEFL exam during the selection process. A minimum TOEFL score of 550 is recommended for participation in the program.
Selected visiting scholar participants will meet the following criteria:
- A permanent or tenured position with an institution of higher education in Iraq.
- A commitment to advancing their own academic/professional development and to contributing to the development of Iraqi educational institutions.
- Specific plans to undertake a project or activity that will provide opportunity to share knowledge and tools obtained during the program with colleagues and others in Iraqi higher educational institutions. Specific activities may include the development of curriculum, the creation of teaching materials, the promotion of collaboration within and among institutions, co-authoring a publication, or the establishment of substantive and workable relationships with U.S. institutions.
- The ability to communicate fluently in English, both orally and in writing.
- Program Deliverables
The host institution will appoint a principal faculty contact who administers the program on campus and serves as the liaison between the scholars, the university, professional resources and CIES. The faculty contact, who is either a member of the faculty or of the university administration, guides, counsels, and assists the scholars and has overall responsibility for the scholars at his/her institution.
The host institution will appoint a principal administrative contact who authorizes the submission of the proposal and the proposed institutional support.
Prior to the scholars’ arrival on campus and during the program, host institutions will be expected to engage with scholars, assess their academic preparedness and incorporate their feedback into the program.
Institutions are to pair a mentor with each scholar. Mentors should be matched with scholars according to their academic specializations. With mentor guidance, the scholars are expected to pursue their own self-directed projects. (e.g. research course material for classes, learn how to use new lab instruments, etc.) Mentors should reach out to scholars via email approximately one month before their arrival to open dialogue about their potential projects, address questions about the campus, program content, and more. During the program, the faculty mentor will meet with the scholar on a weekly basis, or more frequently, to provide ongoing support. Meetings can be formal or informal, and may be augmented by email or other communication.
During the scholars’ first week on campus, the host institution will provide an orientation that will include an introduction to the university, facilities and community and an overview of the expectations of the program. A CIES staff member will be available for one-day of the orientation to address grant administration specific topics at each host institution. Additionally, a CIES staff member will visit the host institution to conduct a mid-program evaluation. CIES will hold separate discussions with scholars and the host institution (principal contacts and mentors) to obtain information on the program and make recommendations for the program.
The ten-week academic program should include activities and seminars that focus on theoretical and practical topics such as teaching methodology, pedagogy, resources, and technology, as well as the historical structure of the higher education system in the U.S.; sessions should, to the extent possible, focus on issues related to each academic discipline. Topics should include, but not be limited to the following:
- Introduction to U.S. Culture
- General Structure of U.S. Higher Education
- Higher Education Administration
- Academic Support Structures
- Leadership in Education
- Teaching Methodology and Pedagogy, including Curriculum Development
- Research Methodology and Building Research Capacity
- Technology - IT as a Pedagogical Tool, and Effective Teaching Without Technology
- Education Reform and Teaching Methods
- Effective Teaching Strategies for Diverse Range of Learners and Learning Styles
A variety of instructional methods are to be employed, including faculty and professional staff seminars; discussion sessions; assigned academic readings; site visits to relevant university offices, related professional organizations, and area campuses; applied projects and/or presentations; and U.S. graduate and/or undergraduate forums.
The host university will provide opportunities for scholars to explore the fundamentals of teaching methodology and pedagogy through observation and practice. In coordination with the scholars, the host institution will identify classes in which they may observe to gain insight on useful strategies for teaching. Presenting scholars with a range of teaching styles may be especially beneficial. Scholars should also be given opportunities to practice skills to which they have been exposed.
The host university will provide participants with experiences to engage with U.S. citizens through involvement in community, professional and social activities. The host institution will identify and coordinate the scholars’ engagement with host families or other community volunteers who will plan cultural visits, family dinners, and recreational activities. Examples of cultural activities can include: activities with local organizations or nearby international organizations, meetings with professionals in the scholars’ area of expertise, or social events to which U.S. citizens are invited. Scholars should be provided opportunities to present on Iraqi history, culture, or appropriate academic topics for students, faculty, and/or the broader community.
The host university will encourage continued engagement and communication with scholars after they have returned to Iraq.
The host institution is to provide to the scholars the same access to institutional resources such as library, computer, laboratory and office/work space, where possible, as is offered to university faculty.
The host institution will also provide access to research facilities relevant to the scholars’ individual research interests including: university libraries, computerized search files, on-line catalogues, and field-of-study libraries. An introduction to the main library and information on how to access electronic journals and resources should be included in the orientation session organized during the first week of the program.
Individual furnished accommodations are required for every scholar, including private bedroom and bathroom facilities, wireless internet access, and must be either walking distance from the campus or accessible via a campus shuttle or public/local transportation. Graduate housing or campus residence halls are inappropriate. Studio or apartment-style housing is expected.
- Visa Arrangements
Visiting scholars will enter the United States on J-1 Exchange Visitor Visas issued under the sponsorship of the U.S. Department of State Exchange Visitor Program G-1-00005. CIES will produce the DS-2019 forms for scholars to apply for a J-1 visa.
- Site Visits
A CIES staff member will visit the host institution to conduct a mid-program evaluation. CIES will hold separate discussions with scholars and the host institution (principal contacts and mentors) to obtain information on the program and make recommendations for the program.
Administrative Costs: Universities will receive $8,500 per participating scholar prior to the start of the program to help cover administrative costs (funds may not be used for the purchase of equipment).
Program Costs: Host institutions will be reimbursed up to $4,500 per scholar for housing.
- Scholars will receive stipend payments directly from CIES at the start of the program.
- All scholars will be provided with U.S. Department of State accident and sickness coverage for the duration of the grant period, as is required for J visa recipients.
- Scholars will be issued round-trip international airfare between Iraq and the host institution through the CIES-designated travel agency as part of Fulbright scholar grant benefits.
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The host institution is required to prepare and submit a final program report, and final financial reconciliation:
- The final program report must contain but is not limited to the following: a listing of the program administrative, instructional staff, and faculty mentors that participated in the program; the final schedule of courses, seminars, workshops, and activities provided to the participants; an overview of the logistics such as housing, transportation and other facilities that were provided to the scholars; a reflection on benefits and challenges of the program; anecdotes of the impact of the program on the participants, the host institution and community.
- An invoice and reconciliation form for actual housing and lab fee costs at the conclusion of the program. The reconciliation will include reporting on cost-share provided.
Institutions that submit proposals will be notified in writing in February 2014 of the results of the review process.
Proposals will be reviewed by an external peer review panel. CIES will summarize the recommendations of the panel for ECA based on the following criteria. ECA will make the final selection.
Institutions interested in participating in the Fulbright Visiting Scholar Program for Iraq and hosting a cohort of scholars, please contact Jordanna Enrich at firstname.lastname@example.org.