Eurasia Program Fellowship Frequently Asked Questions

In 2012, the Eurasia Program will hold fellowships competitions in two categories - Pre-Dissertation Awards (PDAs) and Dissertation Development Awards (DDAs)

Eligibility

Which countries are included in “Eurasia?”

The following countries are eligible for funding under the SSRC Eurasia Fellowship Program: Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Moldova, Russia, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Ukraine and Uzbekistan.

Is there an appropriate fellowship for me iIf I have not yet obtained ABD status at the time of application?

All Dissertation Development Awards (DDA) applicants must have obtained ABD status (must have completed all requirements for the Ph.D. except for the dissertation) by the application submission deadline.

Pre-Dissertation Awards (PDAs) are intended to support initial field assessments and feasibility studies related to their dissertations. They are not intended to support graduate students who have already defended their dissertation proposals.

My project is comparative, and covers one of the countries referenced above in addition to others. Am I eligible to apply for this fellowship?

Yes. Proposals must pertain to one or more of the regions/countries currently supported by the project (see list of countries above). We will consider comparative projects if they fit this criterion, and if our Selection and Advisory Committee determines that the project contributes to the field of Eurasian Studies. Successful comparative proposals would deal directly with Eurasia and related cross-border fields to conduct advanced research with particular emphasis upon the use of data on those states and countries.

Are these fellowships limited to individuals who work on particular topics?

No. The Eurasia Program Fellowship competitions are open to those working on one or more of the regions/countries currently supported by the project (see list of countries above) who meet the eligibility criteria. However, it is incumbent upon applicants to clearly illustrate why their work is relevant to the interest of understanding current political, social or cultural phenomena in the region. In addition, research related to non-Russian states, regions and peoples is particularly encouraged, as are proposals that incorporate a focus on "Cross-Regional Issues" and include specifically the countries of Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and/or Uzbekistan, relative to their shared historical, ethnic, linguistic, political, economic, and cultural ties with such countries as Iraq, Iran, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Korea, China and Turkey.

Am I eligible for funding if I am in a discipline such as art history, literature or musicology?

Yes. The Eurasia Fellowship Program accepts proposals from all disciplines within the social sciences and humanities. However, it is incumbent upon applicants to clearly illustrate why their work is relevant to the interest of understanding current political, social or cultural phenomena in the region.

I may need to return to the field during the course of my dissertation writing. Can I use the Dissertation Development Award (DDA) for international travel and research? ?

DDAs are designed for ABD students who have already returned from the field and are solely focused on the dissertation writing process. DDA funds may be used, with approval, for travel to domestic conferences and approved domestic or international supplemental research. Any such trips should be brief, as the fellows are expected t complete and defend their dissertation by the end of the fellowship period.

What is the length of the fellowship term?

PDAs – 4 consecutive weeks (between June 1, 2013 – August 31, 2014)
DDAs – One academic year/nine consecutive months (between September 1, 2013 – August 31, 2014)

What if I receive funding from another source? Can I accept both offers?

The Eurasia Program does allow cost-sharing and encourages all applicants to apply for other funding sources. However, fellows will not be able to hold two fellowships simultaneously if the Awards Terms & Conditions are contradictory. All cost-sharing agreements need to be approved in writing in advance.

Application Process

How do I apply for a Eurasia Program award?

No paper applications are used in this application process. The Eurasia Fellowship application is to be filled out online and can be accessed through the SSRC Online Application Portal. You will also use this portal to contact your referees, complete the research relevance section, and to upload all required documentation.

Can I preview the application without logging in to the Online Application Portal?

Yes- PDF files of the applications are available on the upper right hand side of this page. Please note, these files are intended to help potential applicants determine their eligibility and prepare for the online application. UNDER NO CIRCUMSTANCES WILL THE EURASIA PROGRAM ACCEPT PAPER APPLICATIONS. All applications must be submitted online.

When is the deadline for the 2012 application?

Applications must be complete and submitted online before 9:00pm (EST) on December 1, 2012. The reference letters must also be submitted online by the same deadline.

Where do I find the reference forms?

There are no forms. You must use the “References” sections of the online application to contact referees. Once you have entered your evaluators’ contact information, they will receive emails with instructions on how to submit the reference letters online. The submitted material will be automatically added to your application.

Do I need to complete the application all at once?

No. You may return to the application as many times as necessary until the application deadline. Be sure to save your work after you finish each section of the application. Once the application has been submitted, you will no longer be able to alter the information.

Do you have examples of proposals that have been awarded fellowships?

No. The Eurasia Fellowship program does not provide examples of successful proposals. However, you may visit our website to learn more about the research that current fellows are conducting. For suggestions on proposal writing, we encourage you to consult The Art of Writing Proposals.

Can I submit my online application even if my reference letters have not been received?

Yes. You are strongly encouraged to submit your online application well in advance of the deadline in order to avoid any technical difficulties. There is no need to wait for your reference letters to be received in order to submit your application – they will be automatically added to your application as they are submitted. You may continue to check the status of your references and you can send reminder requests through the “Track References” section of the application portal, even after your application has been submitted.

What can I expect once my application is submitted?

The application deadline is 9:00 pm EST December 1, 2012. Review of applications will commence immediately and continue into April 2013. All applicants will be notified of their award status in April 2013. Award negations and fellowship disbursement details will be settled for awardees in May, and the disbursement of fellowship funds can begin as early as June 1, 2013 for PDA recipients. DDA recipients can begin their fellowship terms as early as September 1, 2013.

Application Components

How many references do I need and whom should I ask to write references for me?

PDA – Two
DDA – Three; one reference letter must come from your principal faculty advisor. In addition, all references should carefully and accurately access the likelihood that you will be able to complete your dissertation by the end of your development award (August 2014).

Make sure each one of your references is familiar with your scholarly abilities and with the specific project you are proposing for the Eurasia Program Fellowship Award.

Do I need to submit a language evaluation?

No. You will be asked to include a language self-assessment in your application. Your language self-evaluation will be useful to the selection committee in balancing the quality of your research and assessing your overall suitability for the award.

Why do I need to describe the policy relevance of my research?

The funding for this fellowship program is provided by the Office of Outreach Title VIII Program for Research and Training on Eastern Europe and Eurasia (Independent States of the Former Soviet Union), based in the Department of State Bureau of Intelligence and Research.

One of the objectives of the Title VIII program is to support and sustain American expertise on the countries of Eastern Europe and Eurasia. This program also works to support outreach and build relationships between the policy community and the academic community. The underlying idea is that the US can build national capability to understand the region through engagement among various groups of experts exploring new ideas and perspectives, and creating new knowledge and research.

Given that this program seeks to bridge communities of specialists and non-specialists, it is crucial that fellows be able and willing to share their work with academic and non-academic communities alike and to articulate the policy relevance of his/her work.

Are there formatting requirements for the research proposal and bibliography?

Yes. DDA research proposals and bibliographies should be collated as one continuous PDF document not exceeding 12 pages in total. The research proposal cannot exceed TEN pages in length (including any appendices or end notes). The bibliography, which must be part of the same document as the proposal, must not exceed TWO pages.

PDA research proposals and bibliographies should be collated as one continuous PDF document not exceeding 7 pages in total. The research proposal cannot exceed FIVE pages in length (including any appendices or end notes). The bibliography, which must be part of the same document as the proposal, must not exceed TWO pages.

The proposal and bibliography must be in Times New Roman 12-point font type with at least one inch margins on all sides. Proposals must be formatted with double-spacing. The bibliography may be single-spaced. Your name and page numbers should appear on each page. Proposals not adhering to these guidelines will not be considered.

Please view the SSRC's Art of Writing Proposals publication for further guidelines.

Do I need to submit transcripts with my application?

Yes. PDA and DDA applicants must upload and attach transcripts to their applications as instructed. Unofficial transcripts obtained from your university's website are accepted. Transcripts are an important component of your application packet and are taken into consideration during evaluation. You must submit transcripts for the undergraduate institution that awarded your degree and all graduate institutions attended.

Do I need to send letters of affiliation with my application?

No. Do not submit letters of affiliation with your application.

How will I know that my application is complete?

After you have successfully submitted your application, you will receive a confirmation email from the SSRC. You may continue to check the status of your references and send reminder requests through the “Track References” section of the application portal, even after your application has been submitted. Please do not call the Eurasia Program office to ask about the status of your application. If you have questions, please send an email to eurasia@ssrc.org.

Technical Support - Proposal and Bibliography Document

Do I need to convert my proposal and bibliography document into .PDF format myself? I don’t know how to perform the conversion.

Yes. You must convert your proposal and bibliography document into PDF format. You may do so by using Adobe Professional, or an online program such as Adobe Online or Zoho Writer. MS Office 2007 also allows you to print any document as a PDF file. If you are unable to perform the conversion, please contact your university IT services for assistance, or email eurasia@ssrc.org

My proposal and bibliography document was exactly the correct length in word processing program, but when I convert it to .PDF format, it exceeds the page limit. Is that ok?

No. Your proposal and bibliography may not exceed twelve (12) pages in total in .PDF format for DDA applicants and may not exceed seven pages in total in .PDF format for PDA applicants.

I added page numbers to my proposal document in MS Word, but when I converted it to .PDF format, the formatting changed. What should I do?

We recommend that you use the footer function for page numbering, rather than the header function. If you have tried this and the formatting still does not work, you may omit page numbering.

I uploaded my proposal and then my bibliography onto the application form, but when I print out the application, only my bibliography appears. Did my proposal not get uploaded?

Your proposal and bibliography should be collated as one continuous .PDF document. If you try to upload two separate documents, each will replace the one previously uploaded. Please combine the two documents into one document and then upload again.

I use Mac OS X and I am having difficulty uploading my proposal document. What should I do?

There is a known problem – specific to Mac OS X machines – with uploading files over a secure connection. You may upload files using any of the following options: • Use Apple’s browser, Safari • Upload your file using another computer not running OS X

Technical Support - References

What should I do if one of my referees cannot send in the letter s/he agreed to?

You may check the status of your references and send reminder requests through the “Track References” section of the application portal. If one of your designated referees is unable to complete their letter in time, you may add a new referee through the online application portal. In the event that more than the required number of referees submit reference letters, we will ask applicants to confirm which letters to include in the application upon submission.

My referee cannot (or refuses) to use an online system to submit a reference. What should I do?

Please follow the instructions in the References section of the application portal in order to contact your reference letter writers. Your letter writers will receive an email from us with information on how to contact us if s/he cannot use the online system. We will work with them to ensure that the necessary materials are submitted in a timely manner.