As the need for more versatile ways to conduct research abroad is growing, opportunities for scholars to spend multiple semesters away from their institutions are not keeping pace. Many scholars must respond to changing priorities across fields that emphasize both international experience and collaborative and innovative research. In response to these changes, the Fulbright Scholar Program invites academics and professionals to submit applications for research projects that require multiple short term visits over a period of two to three years. In addition to their research activities, Flex scholars will engage with their host institution and community by giving talks, acting as a mentor, and participating in conferences and seminars. Flex grants are offered in all six world regions. While international collaboration is a goal and a frequent outcome of all Fulbright Scholar grants, Flex awards particularly facilitate these types of continued relationships. Annual visits over multiple years compel scholars and administrators to invest in long term partnerships.
“This grant has enabled me to become acquainted with numerous colleagues, not only in my host institution, but in others as well. This, in turn, has resulted in various plans for future collaborations both in the classroom and in my research. It has been an invaluable experience that I will try to pass on to my colleagues and students.”
The demand for flexible grant opportunities also reflects the increasing role of technology in the interplay between institutions of higher education. Institutions and individual faculty alike are leveraging new ways of sharing information as options for online learning and collaboration multiply and traditional restrictions on choosing cross-institutional partners have fallen.
“I will certainly keep in touch with all these people and will collaborate in terms of publications [and] seminars, which I plan to give as soon as I have completed my research”
Flex grants may also be more suitable for research that can benefit from longer or intermittent periods of study and reflection. A more flexible option will greatly facilitate research if a project aims to study phenomena over time or to revisit information gathered during an initial period of investigation. This option can also be helpful for those whose research is seasonal or logistically limited. For more information on countries that offer Flex opportunities in the 2014-15 competition and on how to apply please visit http://www.cies.org/us_scholars/us_awards/catalog/2014-2015/FLEX/.