2023 Study of the U.S. Institute for Scholars
Call for Applications
The U.S. Embassy in Sofia, Bulgaria is now accepting applications for six summer Study of the U.S. Institutes (SUSIs) for multinational groups of experienced university faculty, scholars, and other related professionals. Institutes will take place in-person at various colleges, universities, and academic institutions throughout the United States over the course of five to six weeks beginning in June 2023; exact dates will be communicated in spring 2023. Each Institute includes a four-week academic residency component and, if possible, up to two weeks of an integrated study tour to another region of the United States. Should health, safety, and travel conditions continue to pose significant challenges, the programs will pivot to a modified virtual format. All costs are covered by the Department of State.
Study of the U.S. Institutes for Scholars (SUSIs) are intensive post-graduate level academic programs 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 at academic institutions abroad.
Study of the U.S. Institutes for Scholars comprise 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.
A description of each Institute can be found below. Prospective applicants are encouraged to visit: Study of the U.S. Institutes | Exchange Programs (state.gov) to obtain general information about the program.
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 chemistry 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 (UM) in Missoula, MT will administer this program; the University of Massachusetts in Amherst, MA will host the Institute in Amherst, MA.
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 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 writing and suggest how the themes explored reflect larger currents within contemporary U.S. society and culture. The University of Montana (UM) in Missoula, MT will administer and host this Institute.
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 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, and other changes that are transforming the profession. The University of Montana (UM) in Missoula, MT will administer this program; Arizona State University in Tempe, AZ will host the Institute.
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 ethnic, racial, social, economic, political, and religious 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 itself provide a model of how a foreign university might approach the study of American culture and society. The University of Montana (UM) in Missoula, MT will administer this program; New York University in New York, NY will host the Institute.
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; 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 (UM) in Missoula, MT will administer this program; the Institute for Training and Development (ITD), in conjunction with Suffolk University, will host the Institute in Amherst and Boston, MA.
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 (UM) in Missoula, MT will administer this program; the University of Delaware will host the Institute in Newark, DE.
One candidate will be nominated for each institute to compete for a slot at the international level. Nomination by Embassy Sofia does not guarantee selection and acceptance into the program.
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. Please note that Institute curriculum will not formally address teaching methodology and pedagogical methods. If the program is conducted virtually, the same participation requirements apply.
English Language Ability: All candidates must be proficient in English so that they can actively participate in the academic program. Host institutions will take into account that the level of comprehension and speaking ability of participants may vary and will prepare lectures and discussions that meet the highest academic standards while using language appropriate for participants whose English is their second or third language.
Housing and Meal Arrangements: Each participant will have a private room but may be required to share a bathroom with a participant of the same gender during the Institute. Most meals will be provided at campus facilities; participants may have access to a kitchen to cook some meals on their own.
Care will be taken to ensure that any special requirements regarding diet, daily worship, housing, and medical care are satisfied. However, while Institute staff will make available special accommodations to the greatest extent possible, full participation in all Institute activities is still expected. Should a participant need to quarantine due to positive COVID-19 test results, accommodations will follow Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidelines.
Health Benefits: All participants will receive the U.S. Department of State’s Accident and Sickness Program for Exchanges (ASPE) health benefit, that 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. COVID-19 is treated like any other illness under the ASPE policy.
Expectations: Violations of program rules, U.S. host institution rules, or U.S. local, state, or federal laws can be grounds for immediate dismissal from the program.
Virtual Program Contingency: Should health, safety, and travel conditions continue to pose significant challenges, the SUSI will pivot to a virtual format. The virtual program will consist of a minimum of 36 hours of required programming and will be a combination of synchronous and asynchronous learning. To the extent possible, the virtual programming will include lectures, small group discussions, videos, readings, panels, site visits, assignments, and individual and group activities. Participants are required to fully participate in the entire virtual program from their home location outside the United States.
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 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.
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 from their participation in the Institute is equally important. Ideal candidates will have little or no prior experience living or visiting in the United States.
The Embassy will consider applications by Bulgarian nationals only.
HOW TO APPLY
In order to apply, please submit your completed application form and the personal statement in English by October 31, 2022 via e-mail to: SofiaEducationPrograms@state.gov
In the subject line, please insert the name of the institute for which you are applying (e.g. “SUSI for Scholars – Institute on Journalism and Media” or ““SUSI for Secondary Educators – Administrators”).
Only short-listed applicants will be contacted. Interviews will be held in December 2022.
Application form available in the Additional Resources Section (top right of this page).