What qualifies as a host partner?
Candidates may undertake their fellowships at host colleges, universities, research centers and other academic institutions in any safe country. The host institution is an essential partner, providing the scholar with professional and personal support during the visit, including matching financial support, workspace, and contacts with professional colleagues.
How are host partners identified?
Host partners may be identified by SRF staff, by the candidates before or after a fellowship is approved, or by institutions themselves when they nominate a candidate or communicate to SRF staff their interest in hosting a candidate. In seeking host partners, SRF staff employs a network of colleagues, including IIE university and college contacts.
What are the responsibilities of the host partner?
The responsibilities of host partners generally do not differ from those for hosting any visiting foreign scholar. Together with SRF and the scholar, the host agrees to the terms of the visiting appointment, including the scholar’s title, responsibilities, departmental host, contact persons/mentors, start and end dates of the visit, compensation and benefits, housing and transportation information, and other services or facilities to be provided. More specifically, SRF requires that the host partner provide matched funding for the fellowship.
What counts toward the matching support requirement?
The host partner plays an essential role and provides the following:
- Financial support equal to or greater than the SRF fellowship award. This support generally takes the form of a stipend or other direct funding for the visiting scholar such as housing, airfare and meal programs. In-kind contributions – office space, computers, language or other training fees, etc. – are encouraged for a complete scholar support package;
- University visa sponsorship (generally J-1, visiting scholar visa for scholars coming to the U.S.);
- Receipt of SRF Fellowship funds for support of the scholar and disbursal to him/her;
- Faculty mentoring and staff assistance in adjusting to the university;
- Assistance to find suitable housing when possible; and
- Access to university facilities and libraries.
How long is the fellowship term?
SRF fellowships may range from three months to one calendar year based on the scholar's need. Grantees are eligible to apply for one renewal of the fellowship for up to one additional year of financial support. Candidates and nominators (including prospective host partners) may request any fellowship term of up to one year. The length of the hosting arrangment is based on the availability of necessary resources at the host institution.
How are the fellowship awards distributed?
In most cases, SRF transfers the fellowship funds to institutions that have agreed in writing to invite, host and act as financial disbursing agents for a specific scholar. SRF generally does not provide award monies directly to individual grantees.
How much is each fellowship award?
Fellowships are awarded in the form of grants of up to US $25,000. Most awards require additional financial support from the host institutions or a third-party source. Support is generally equal or greater to the SRF award. The final amount of each award takes into consideration the funds available, needs of the scholar, costs of living, duration of the visit and the availability of matched support.
What is the purpose of the matching support requirement?
SRF seeks matching support from host partners as a means of ensuring host institution commitment to each visiting scholar and to extend SRF's resources to provide assistance to more scholars for longer visits.
Does SRF have any suggestions as to how to raise the necessary matched support?
Matching funds are often allocated by an academic department or a combination of departments that contribute to and benefit from the presence of the SRF scholar on campus. In SRF's experience, the Provost’s and/or President’s offices have sometimes agreed to match any departmental contributions. On occasion, outside and local community sources are also approached for additional support.
Does the location of the potential host partner matter?
The location of any potential host partner has impact on the likelihood of the scholar (i) making a significant academic contribution, (ii) returning to the home country or region, and (iii) continuing as a productive scholar post-fellowship, either by staying on at the institution or securing another academic position.
What are SRF fellows expected to do on campus?
The scholar’s duties on fellowship depend on the needs of the host partner and the scholar. Many SRF fellows teach courses, conduct independent research, participate in lecture series and conferences/seminars and otherwise contribute to the broader campus and nearby communities.
Who pays travel and airfare expenses to bring the scholar to campus?
Transportation to the host campus usually comes out of the scholar’s fellowship award or his/her personal funds. The scholar may purchase the airline tickets in his/her home country. SRF is also able to assist through IIE’s contracted travel agent to arrange the plane ticket. In this case, the price of the ticket will be deducted from the scholar’s fellowship award.
Who pays the $180 SEVIS fee that is a prerequisite for the J-1 visa application? (Applicable only to U.S. institutions, visa fees in other locations would be treated similarly)
It is up to the host partner how to work with the SEVIS fee. In most cases, the host absorbs the cost; in others, it is taken from the scholar’s SRF award.
Can scholars bring their family?
This decision is left entirely up to the scholar; however, SRF is not in a position to provide additional funding for support of dependents on fellowship. SRF will inform the host partner if a scholar plans to bring his/her spouse and/or children.
How much is expected for the scholar’s monthly stipend/salary?
SRF suggests that the host partner disburse the fellowship funds in a way that works best for the scholar and the institution (typically evenly disbursed over the course of the fellowship). However we do suggest providing a larger percentage in the first payment, if possible, in order to defray the initial set-up costs (which often include a deposit/advance rent for an apartment, purchasing furniture, and other relocation costs). SRF hopes to arrange fellowships where the SRF funds and matching support from the host will cover all living expenses for a modest, yet comfortable set-up.
Do scholars travel beyond the immediate vicinity of their host college or university?
Yes, many scholars seek opportunities to travel locally or within the host country for academic conferences or to visit friends and colleagues. Where possible, academic departments or on-campus groups have generously provided conference travel stipends as additional support for the scholar.