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General

How is CEP related to the Open Society Institute (OSI)?

Since 1991, the Civic Education Project has enjoyed steadfast support from the Open Society Institute (OSI). The two organizations have been working in close cooperation on higher education reform in post-communist societies for more than a decade. OSI and CEP would like to announce that from July 1, 2004, the fellowship programs for which we are currently recruiting will continue on as OSI fellowships through the Higher Education Support Program, Open Society Institute.

Does CEP award grants for research or study in the West, or to attend conferences in the West?

No. CEP does not award research grants or study scholarships, nor will it fund travel to conferences for non-CEP fellows. CEP only awards teaching fellowships. The three different fellowships available to scholars in the social sciences are: the Visiting Faculty Fellowship (VFF) program, the Local Faculty Fellowship (LFF) program, and the Support for Community Outreach and University Teaching (SCOUT) program. CEP will not consider solicitations or applications for anything not directly related to these three programs.

VFF, LFF, SCOUT – I’m confused! Why does CEP have these separate programs and which one should I apply to?

CEP administers three distinct fellowship programs. The Visiting Faculty Fellowship (VFF) program is designed to bring foreign academics into a CEP partner university in the region to teach for an academic year. The Local Faculty Fellowship (LFF) program supports local academics from a particular country who have received a graduate degree in the West and wish to return to a teaching position in higher education in their country of citizenship. SCOUT is a special fellowship program for US Department of State, Edmund S. Muskie/Freedom Support Act Graduate Fellowship Program alumni from the former Soviet Union.

LOCAL FACULTY FELLOWSHIP APPLICATION FAQs

VISITING FACULTY FELLOWSHIP APPLICATION FAQs

Applicant Background and Qualification FAQs
Application Process FAQs
Where would CEP send me? Where can I go? FAQs
Teaching FAQs
Research and Professional Development FAQs
Family, Stipend, Insurance, Fellowship Package, Logistics, and Timeline FAQs

Applicant Background and Qualification

Does CEP award grants for research or study or to attend conferences?
No. CEP does not award research grants or study scholarships, nor will it fund travel to conferences for non-CEP fellows. CEP only awards teaching fellowships.

Do I need to have completed my PhD in order to apply to the VFF program?
No. CEP also welcomes applications from ABDs (all but dissertation), who have traditionally constituted a major part of the applicant pool. However, ABDs should be aware that some CEP program countries accept PhDs only. For some positions, significant teaching experience is required as well.

Can I apply to the VFF program with an MA?
Candidates with only an MA are welcome to apply, and CEP has awarded fellowships to MA-only applicants in the past. However, many CEP partner universities will not allow people who are not already in a PhD program to teach courses, so there is a smaller number of fellowships suitable for someone with an MA only. In law and journalism however, professional degrees (MA in journalism, JD in law) are acceptable qualifications for applicants. For more information, please contact the CEP Budapest or Washington, DC offices.

Do I need to be a regional specialist in order to apply to the VFF program?
No. Many CEP VFFs have had no prior academic or personal experience with the region. Of course, CEP welcomes applicants who have lived in the region or who specialize in it professionally, as this makes the adjustment to living there much easier. Hundreds of Fellows who were not specialists in the region have enjoyed productive and fulfilling fellowships.

If my teaching field is multidisciplinary, can I apply to the VFF program?
Social science is becoming increasingly multidisciplinary. This is reflected in the design and content of many postgraduate degree courses in both North America and Europe, and CEP welcomes applicants with multidisciplinary backgrounds.

Do I have to be able to teach in the local language?
No. CEP arranges for VFFs to teach their courses in English, and CEP’s administration of the Visiting Faculty Fellowship program is also in English. VFFs therefore must be fluent in English, but that is the only language required.

Can non-US citizens apply to the VFF program?
CEP welcomes applications to the VFF program from citizens of all countries if they have received their graduate education from a Western university. Fellows in any given year hail from countries as diverse as New Zealand, Korea, India, Canada, the UK and Ireland, and numerous others. If you are a national/citizen of a CEP program country, and wish to be assigned in that country, you should apply to the CEP Local Faculty Fellowship (LFF) program (e.g., if you are a Romanian citizen and wish to teach in Romania, you must apply to the Local Faculty Fellowship program; if you wish to teach outside Romania, you should apply to the Visiting Faculty Fellowship program).

Can Eastern/Central European or former Soviet citizens apply to the VFF program?Yes, as long as they have a graduate degree from a Western university and they are not applying for a placement in their country of citizenship.

Are there any issues that I need to consider as a female applicant?
While women made significant advances under communism, all too often these advances were superficial. Gender bias and discrimination in local academia in many CEP program countries persists and female academics may encounter the types of problems faced perhaps twenty years ago in the West. In certain CEP program countries that are traditionally Islamic, such as Uzbekistan and Kyrgyzstan, women need to be aware of certain historical and socio-cultural issues. However, it should be stressed that hundreds of women have joined CEP since 1991 and experienced rewarding and trouble-free assignments in all CEP regions, from Uzbekistan to Slovakia. Furthermore, visitors from the West are much less likely than their local colleagues to be subject to these difficulties. CEP welcomes and strongly encourages female applicants to all its programs. No CEP acceptance decision is ever made on the basis of gender. 

Are there any issues that I need to consider as a GLBT (gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender) applicant?
While CEP welcomes and encourages applicants without regard to sexual orientation, it is an unfortunate fact that many CEP program countries still have very conservative societies that are not as accepting of non-traditional lifestyles as are societies in the West. GLBT applicants should take this into careful consideration before they decide to apply; however, reported cases of a CEP Fellow experiencing difficulty because of sexual orientation have been rare. No CEP acceptance decision is ever made on the basis of sexual orientation.

Are there any issues that I need to consider as a minority applicant?
CEP encourages and welcomes applications from minority groups. While some CEP program countries are multicultural, others are more isolated and still unused to diversity. CEP Fellows of a minority background have experienced reactions ranging from friendly curiosity to occasional discrimination in their host countries. However, it is important to stress that many Fellows of minority background have experienced trouble-free and rewarding fellowships with CEP. No CEP acceptance decision is ever made on the basis of ethnicity.

I'm retired - does CEP accept VFF applications from retirees?
Yes. Retired faculty, journalists, and lawyers have traditionally constituted a significant element of the VFF program. If you are retired and looking for a change of scene and a challenge, CEP welcomes and strongly encourages your application. No CEP acceptance decision is ever made on the basis of age.

I've just completed a Fulbright. Can I apply to CEP?
Many former Fulbrighters have joined CEP and vice versa over the years. As each fellowship has time limits, people have used combinations of the two fellowships to extend their stay abroad.

I'm a former Peace Corps Volunteer. Can I apply to CEP?
CEP welcomes applications from former PCVs. However, PCVs not currently enrolled in/graduated from a PhD program should see the FAQ above on applying with an MA only.

 

Application Process

How long does the Visiting Faculty Fellowship application process take?
CEP is accepting applications from August 2002 to February 2003 for the 2003-04 academic year. The application committee will award the earliest fellowships in March 2003, but most applicants will hear from CEP in April or May 2003. CEP continues to review applications and make offers until early August, as the academic year in most CEP Program countries since the academic year in most CEP countries begins in September or October. Since communications in remote CEP country regions can be slow, we appreciate the patience shown by most applicants.

Can I apply to CEP late? Will CEP accept a late VFF application?
CEP accepts a small number of late applications. Every year, a few new fellowship positions are requested by our partner universities or developed by CEP outside the regular timeline. For this reason, prospective applicants who have missed the deadline, but are still interested in applying, should contact the Washington, DC or Budapest office to inquire if CEP is still accepting applications in particular disciplines.

How competitive is the application process?
CEP fellowships are competitive. Part of the reason for this is that they are open to all nationalities, not just US citizens. All applicants are subject to an in-house screening and expected to conform to the highest academic standards.

 

Where would CEP send me? Where can I go?

I am already in contact with a university in the region about a teaching position. Can I ask CEP to sponsor me as a Visiting Faculty Fellow?
No. CEP Visiting Faculty Fellowship positions are worked out a year or more in advance as a result of an agreement between the CEP country program and the CEP partner university in that country. CEP will not create, fund, or sponsor a VFF position it has not previously agreed upon in advance with a host university.

Does CEP ever place Visiting Faculty Fellows in unstable or dangerous regions or situations?
While no place is free from danger, CEP is very cautious about the safety and well-being of its Fellows. Many CEP country programs are in places undergoing profound socio-economic and political transition. Crime rates and safety issues are always a concern, and CEP cannot absolutely guarantee the safety of its Visiting Faculty Fellows at all times and in all places. However, CEP constantly monitors the safety situation in its program countries, and it should be noted that crime rates in many CEP cities are lower than or equivalent to those in cities in North America or Western Europe. In cases where the international, political, or safety situation unexpectedly deteriorates to the point where the safety of Fellows becomes a concern to the CEP administration, the evacuation of part of or even the entire country program will occur. This happened in Albania in 1997 and in Kyrgyzstan in 2001.

Can I specify what country I want to go to? Can I refuse to go to a particular country?
For the VFF program, CEP selects applicants primarily on the basis of their suitability for a particular teaching position and university, and then only secondarily does it give consideration to the applicant’s geographical preference. Of course, it is the decision of the applicant to decline an offer made by CEP. Should CEP’s fellowship offer be rejected, CEP will sometimes make alternative offers to candidates, but given the competitive nature of the Visiting Faculty Fellowship program, this seldom occurs.

Can I get some idea in advance where CEP Visiting Faculty Fellowships are being offered in a particular year?
Yes. CEP has posted a list of available fellowships for 2003-04, arranged by country, city, and discipline. Please note, however, that this list is intended to be only a rough guide, and is subject to change. CEP will also leave a fellowship vacant and transfer its funding to other programs if it cannot find a suitable candidate.

Why does CEP no longer offer Visiting Faculty Fellowships in the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Poland, Hungary, and the Baltics (Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia)?
In 1999, CEP wound down the VFF program in these countries. It became evident that higher education in these countries no longer required the Visiting Faculty Fellow component of CEP’s work, compared to the more pressing needs of other CEP regions. Shortly after CEP closed the VFF program in these countries, it opened new VFF programs further east, in Mongolia and Azerbaijan, and also in Kosovo, Serbia, and Montenegro in Southeastern Europe.

Why doesn’t CEP have programs in Slovenia, Bosnia-Herzegovina, and Croatia?
CEP has yet to expand its programs to these countries, but does not rule out doing so in the near future.

Will I be placed somewhere on my own or as part of a team?
CEP programs are run as teams, whose Fellows work on major outreach projects and attend orientations and retreats together. VFFs are almost always placed either with a Local Faculty Fellow or with other VFFs. Sometimes renewing VFFs are placed on their own, with position development and LFF recruitment responsibilities, but this happens very rarely for first-year VFFs.

Is there a regional support staff?
Every CEP country or regional program has a program director (PD) or program coordinator (PC) and support staff who are responsible for the smooth running of all of CEP’s operations, including the VFF program, locally.

How does CEP work with other organizations in the region - is there any coordination?
CEP works closely with other organizations involved in similar activities in the region. Depending on the country, CEP coordinates with organizations such as Central European University, the Higher Education Support Programme, IREX, American Councils, Koerber, the Carnegie Corporation of New York, the MacArthur Foundation, Fulbright, Bosch, and governmental bodies such as USAID and DAAD.

 

Teaching

Do I have to teach in English - are French or German possibilities?
Visiting Faculty Fellows have taught courses in the past in French and German. As long as there are enough students who are willing and able to take courses in other languages, CEP will always try to accommodate them. CEP is primarily interested in content, methodology, and audience, rather than language instruction.

Can I teach in a local language?
Fellows who happen to be fluent and confident enough to teach in a local language are encouraged to do so in many cases. It occasionally happens that renewing Fellows have absorbed enough to do this in their second or third fellowship year. Fellows who are fluent in both English and the local language usually pursue a mixed strategy of some lectures and readings in English, some in the local language.

Will I be teaching in a state or private university?
CEP places VFFs in both public and private institutions. The main criteria for selecting partner universities in the region are the university’s openness to reform and change and its willingness to work with outside organizations.

Will my students speak English well?
Since 1991, numerous students have returned from high-school exchange years in the USA and other English-speaking countries. In addition, students have been learning more and more English, as its importance increases for their career prospects, and many universities in the region have begun to offer classes taught in English. In most of the large urban areas in which CEP works, there are students who speak and understand English well enough to take college-level courses. In a minority of cases in some provincial universities, however, English-language knowledge may be below college-level and Fellows will then teach with the help of a translator.

Will my local colleagues speak any English?
The majority of CEP partner universities have academics with some knowledge of English, even if it is conversational English only. CEP Local Faculty Fellows (LFFs), with whom VFFs are usually placed, have studied abroad and invariably speak very good English.

What level of students will I be teaching?
Most CEP students are comparable to BA students, studying for their first university degree. At some partner universities, they are MA (graduate) students. Fellows are not expected to work with PhD students, although some have mentored and advised PhD students.

How heavy is the teaching load?
Fellows are asked to teach two courses per semester, four total during the academic year. Fellows are welcome to teach more courses at their own discretion, but CEP only requires two per semester.

Will my teaching be evaluated?
All CEP Fellows in all programs are subject to an annual formal evaluation of their teaching. This is primarily designed as a means of giving helpful feedback to Fellows, and it also plays a role in renewal applications.

What is outreach and how does it relate to CEP's mission?
While the classroom is the obvious place for higher education reform, CEP also sponsors academic networking, university teacher training, mentoring, curriculum and program development, student conferences, moot courts, workshops, and other projects designed to further this objective outside the classroom. All of this is loosely termed outreach, and is a significant component of a fellowship. Fellows are encouraged to propose their own outreach projects, for which additional funding is often available. CEP also encourages Fellows to join in ongoing pre-established outreach projects, since they are a major component of many CEP’s programs.

 

Research and Professional Development

Does CEP award grants for research or study or to attend conferences?
No. CEP does not award research grants or study scholarships, nor will it fund travel to conferences for non-CEP fellows. CEP only awards teaching fellowships. CEP will not consider solicitations or applications for anything not directly related to the three fellowship programs, with the exception of the PhD Studies Support Program in Central Europe. CEP does offer a limited number of professional conference travel grants for current Fellows on a competitive basis.

Can I continue my research and writing while working for CEP?
Many CEP Fellows continue with their writing and research during their fellowship year. CEP encourages this as long as it does not interfere with the teaching and outreach duties expected of a CEP Fellow.

Will I be able to attend professional conferences?
Many Fellows are able to attend professional conferences during their year, either outside or inside the region. CEP requires that this not interfere with teaching duties. In 2001, CEP created the internal, competitive Professional Conference Travel award for Fellows to help fund travel to academic conferences in Europe and North America during their year with CEP.

 

Family, Stipend, Insurance, Fellowship Package, Logistics, and Timeline

Can my spouse/partner/family accompany me on my Visiting Faculty Fellowship?
Yes. CEP tries to accommodate the personal situations of Visiting Faculty Fellows. Spouses and/or life partners of Visiting Faculty Fellows are provided benefits such as health insurance and a round-trip air ticket.

How long are assignments? Does CEP ever award fellowships for less than one academic year?
The vast majority of CEP assignments are for a full academic year. The academic calendar in most CEP program areas starts a little later than in the US, beginning in early September or even October, and ends in May or June, depending on the country.

Can I renew for another year?
VFFs can apply to renew for a second year or more, and many do. Teaching evaluations and outreach activities are important factors in renewal decisions.

Will my fellowship be expected to continue over the summer?
After the end of the host university’s academic year, VFFs are free to pursue their own activities. Many Fellows choose to remain in their host country over the summer traveling, teaching summer courses, researching, and participating in other activities of interest.

How does CEP's health insurance for VFFs work?
VFFs are provided with two forms of insurance coverage during their fellowship year. The first is general insurance designed to provide everyday coverage for non-emergency care that does not require leaving their host country. The second is medical evacuation insurance designed to cover an emergency situation necessitating rapid departure from the host country to a place with the required medical facilities.

Why is the VFF stipend so modest?
The Visiting Faculty Fellowship is a package of which the stipend is only one component. Airfare, accommodation, book allowances, insurance, and language lessons are also included in the fellowship. Living expenses in CEP countries tend to be much lower than in the West and host universities usually pay a modest local salary in addition to the stipend. Between these two sources of income, most CEP VFFs live comfortably during their program year. Also, CEP is a volunteer organization, and participants are not expected to take a fellowship for financial reasons. Alumni have found that helping others, having a new and unusual teaching experience, acquiring new language skills, and partaking in other opportunities offered by a fellowship year are substantial forms of compensation in themselves.

Will CEP pay for my accommodation or does this come from my stipend?
CEP and/or the local host university will pay for accommodation. Accommodation usually consists of a furnished one-bedroom apartment with kitchen and bathroom within reasonable distance of the university. Accommodations are spartan, but CEP is careful that Fellows are reasonably comfortable.

Can CEP defer my student loans?
Although CEP has no official standing to require deferment of student loans we have been successful in the past persuading government and private lending agencies to defer loans, and will assist Fellows with the necessary letters of support to request deferment.

How will CEP get me to the region?
CEP buys Visiting Faculty Fellows a round-trip economy-class air ticket from their city of residence to their host country at the beginning of the program year. There are now scheduled flights to most CEP program countries, even more remote ones, such as Kyrgyzstan.

What sort of things do CEP alumni go on to do after their year with CEP?
CEP alumni have gone on to a wide range of occupations. The majority continues academic careers in their home countries. Some have gone on to positions in the public and private sector. Others stay on in their host country and work for other foreign or local organizations.

LOCAL FACULTY FELLOWSHIP APPLICATION

How long does the Local Faculty Fellowship application process take?
Application committees based in the CEP program countries meet in May and June. Decisions are usually announced by mid- to late July.

Does CEP award grants for research or study in the West, or to attend conferences in the West?
No. CEP does not award research grants or study scholarships, nor will it fund travel to conferences for non-CEP Fellows. CEP only awards teaching fellowships. The three different fellowships available to scholars in the social sciences are: the Visiting Faculty Fellowship (VFF) program, the Local Faculty Fellowship (LFF) program, and the Support for Community Outreach and Teaching (SCOUT) program. CEP will not consider solicitations or applications for anything not directly related to these three programs, with the exception of the PhD Studies Support Program in Central Europe. CEP does offer a limited number of professional conference travel grants for current Fellows on a competitive basis. CEP requires, however, that conference participation does not interfere with teaching duties.

Why doesn’t CEP have programs in Slovenia, Bosnia-Herzegovina, and Croatia?
CEP has yet to expand its programs to work in these countries, but does not rule out doing so in the near future.

May I receive other grants or support in addition to the CEP fellowship?
LFFs may not simultaneously receive a CEP Local Faculty Fellowship and another grant or fellowship designed to provide similar support for teaching, professional development, or academic work. Specific project or resource grants may be accepted during a Local Faculty Fellowship, but these should be clearly disclosed to CEP at the earliest possible time. Due to the nature of CEP's funding, simultaneous receipt of a CEP fellowship and grants from the Open Society Institute, Central European University, or National Soros Foundations is strictly limited and should be discussed with CEP staff.

I am studying in North America or Western Europe. Can I apply to the Local Faculty Fellowship Program from here?
Yes. If you are in your final year of postgraduate studies in North America or Western Europe and plan on returning to your home country in the subsequent academic year, CEP encourages you to apply from abroad. You can submit your application to the CEP office in Washington, DC if in North America or the Budapest office if you are in Western Europe.

I'm a Junior Faculty Development Program (JFDP) Fellow or JFDP alumnus. May I apply for an Local Faculty Fellowship?
Yes, CEP encourages current JFDP fellows or alumni in eligible disciplines, to apply to the LFF program. Applications and documents should be submitted to the Washington DC office if you are resident in North America at the time of application.

Will a Local Faculty Fellowship support my research?
No, not directly. Local Faculty Fellowships are strictly teaching fellowships. While CEP encourages its Fellows to be active academics and researchers, CEP fellowships are not designed to support research.

Will CEP find a teaching position for me?
No. It is up to the LFF applicant to arrange a teaching position in a university in his/her country, or to have reasonable expectation of one upon returning home.

At what type of university am I expected to have a teaching position?
CEP supports Fellows with positions at both state and private universities, as well as the various hybrid institutions that exist across the region. LFFs must have a position at an accredited institution of higher education.

Will my teaching be evaluated?
All CEP Fellows in all its programs are subject to an annual evaluation of their teaching. This is primarily designed as a means of giving helpful feedback to the Fellows regarding their teaching. The evaluation also plays an important role in considering renewal applications.

Can I apply to the LFF program with just an MA?
MAs are welcome to apply, and CEP has awarded fellowships to MA-only applicants in the past. However, many regional universities will not allow people who are not at least an ABD or PhD to teach courses, so there is a smaller number of teaching opportunities suitable for someone with an MA only. At a minimum, LFFs are enrolled in a PhD program in their home country, in addition to having had graduate training abroad.

Would I be part of a team?
CEP programs are run as teams, whose Fellows work on major outreach projects and attend orientations and retreats together. LFFs frequently work in the same city as, or near to, other LFFs. LFFs are also frequently paired with Visiting Faculty Fellows in similar disciplines and with similar interests to work on joint projects and outreach activities.

What is outreach, and how does it relate to CEP's mission?
While the classroom is the obvious place for higher education reform, CEP also sponsors academic networking, university teacher training, mentoring, curriculum and program development, student conferences, moot courts, workshops, and other projects designed to further this objective outside of the classroom. All of this is loosely termed outreach, and is a significant component of a fellowship. Fellows are encouraged to propose their own outreach projects, for which additional funding is often available. CEP also encourages Fellows to join in ongoing pre-established outreach projects, since they are a major component of many CEP country programs.

Can I renew my fellowship?
LFFs can renew for a second year, subject to a formal review by CEP of their first fellowship year. In Central Asia and Mongolia, funding is available for a third year.

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