The Study of the U.S. Institutes for Scholars

The Study of the U.S. Institutes for Scholars (on various themes) are intensive post-graduate level academic programs with integrated study tours 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 in academic institutions abroad. Study of the U.S. Institutes for Scholars will take place at various colleges, universities, and institutions throughout the United States over the course of six weeks beginning in June. Each Institute includes a four-week academic residency component and up to two weeks of an integrated study tour.

Candidates for this program must:

  • have citizenship and live in the Republic of Moldova at the time of application (permanent residents of the Transnistrian region may be considered regardless of citizenship);
  • be eligible for a U.S. J-1 visa. Program participants must return to and reside in Moldova for two years after completion of their program;
  • be mid-career scholars, typically between the ages of 30-50;
  • be highly motivated, experienced scholars and professionals generally from institutions of higher education or research focused organizations (not-for-profits, think tanks, etc.)
  • be seeking to introduce or enhance aspects of U.S. studies into their curricula or to offer specialized seminars/workshops for education professionals in U.S. studies or related fields;
  • have graduate degrees and have substantial knowledge of the thematic area of the Institute or a related field;
  • have little or no prior study or travel experience in the United States or elsewhere outside of their home country;
  • have special interest in the program subject areas as demonstrated through past scholarship, accomplishments, and professional duties;

English language ability: All candidates must be proficient in English so that they can actively participate in the academic program.

Institute Descriptions:

A. The Institute on Journalism and Media will:

  • examine the role of journalists in recognizing and preventing disinformation and will explore strategies for media and information literacy to counter disinformation;
  • 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;
  • will examine pedagogical strategies for teaching students of journalism the basics of the tradecraft: researching, critical thinking, reporting, interviewing, writing, and editing;
  • highlight the impact of technology in journalism, including the influence of the Internet, globalization of the news media, and other changes that are transforming the profession;

B. The Institute on Religious Freedom and Pluralism will:  

  • include a survey of the religious landscape of the United States, including major and minor religious groups; historic religious traditions and contemporary American religious groups;
  • explore both the historical and contemporary relationship between church and state in the United States;
  • examine interfaith understanding and dialogue, religious pluralism, freedom of religion as a fundamental unalienable human right and source of stability;
  • discuss ways in which religious freedom is protected;
  • examine the intersections of religion and politics in the United States, especially in U.S. foreign policy;
  • participants will have opportunities to meet with U.S. community leaders of different faiths who advocate for collaboration and tolerance among religious groups;

C. The Institute on American Culture and Values will:

  • examine the concepts of American exceptionalism and American resilience through social, economic, political, and religious contexts in which, historically, various cultures have manifested and shaped contemporary U.S. culture, values, and society;
  • draw from a diverse disciplinary base and should itself provide a model of how a foreign university might approach the study of U.S. culture and values;

D. The Institute on U.S. Foreign Policy will: 

  • include a historical review of significant events, individuals, and philosophies that have shaped U.S. foreign policy;
  • explain the role of key players in 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;
  • examine the current U.S. foreign policymaking and the new trends that are shaping policy;
  • include topics such as the concept of American sovereignty, shifting attitudes towards globalism, U.S. foreign aid, the monitoring of foreign investment in the United States, the efforts to combat terrorism and radicalization, new trade policies and agreements, immigration and border safety, and cybersecurity;
  • discuss the reorganization of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) and the new U.S. approaches to international organizations such as the United Nations (UN), the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO).

E. The Institute on Workforce Development will:

  • include a thorough discussion of the role of U.S. educational institutions, particularly community colleges, in preparing Americans with the skills needed to succeed in multiple industries including business, technology, science, the creative arts, and other emerging fields;
  • will provide with a deeper understanding of how recent socioeconomic trends have changed the concept of work, workforce development, and career paths in the United States;
  • offer opportunities for participants to research new ideas, in conjunction with American peers, to better understand the evolution of work, the changing demand for skills, and the advancements in workforce development through retraining, reskilling, and closing the skills gap;

F. The Institute on U.S. Economics and Business will:

  • discuss how the United States, as the leading nation for global trade, influences industries, free markets and financial sectors around the world and advances trade, investment, and capital flows.
  • provide participants with a firsthand look at key institutions and stakeholders in U.S. economy and the opportunity to meet with business and corporate leaders, Wall Street executives and board members, and small business owners, among others;

How to apply

To apply you have to write a short essay where it is extremely important to convey your interest in participating in the Institute, what you expect to gain and what you will contribute to the Institute. The personal statement should also address how you will leverage the experience to achieve other potential outcomes. In addition, the essay should describe your capacity to amplify the impact of the program beyond your research and knowledge. Limit your essay to 250 words.

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