Exchange Program to the United States

PROGRAM DESCRIPTION

The oldest scholarship program of the Kosciuszko Foundation, the Exchange Program to the United States, enables Polish scholars to carry out research, artistic or study projects at accredited institutions of higher learning in the United States. The program helps researchers to garner expertise, practical knowledge and skills that they can bring back to Poland. Every year, we award approximately 40 scholars with grants and fellowships worth over $400,000. Our awardees conduct their research at top-ranking universities, including Stanford University, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Harvard University, Yale University, University of Chicago, Johns Hopkins University, University of Pennsylvania, University of California (Berkeley), Columbia University, University of California Los Angeles (UCLA), Duke University and Cornell University.

This program is made possible by generous donations from individuals and companies dedicated to fostering scholarly and scientific exchanges between Poland and the United States.

Which scholarship category is right for me?

The Kosciuszko Foundation Fellowships allow postgraduate scholars, professionals or artists who have completed their Ph.D. to undertake postdoctoral research in the U.S. for 3 - 9 months.

The Kosciuszko Foundation Grants allow graduate degree (M.A., M.S.) scholars, professionals or artists to conduct research in the U.S. for 3 -9 months.

 The Kosciuszko Foundation Teaching Fellowships allow university faculty members to teach classes at U.S. universities, for up to 10 months. The lectures should focus on Polish Studies, including Polish language teaching and Polish culture. Teaching fellows may also undertake or continue their research while lecturing.

There are no restrictions to fields of study/research for any of the above grants and fellowships.

PROGRAM ELIGIBILITY

 The Kosciuszko Foundation follows a policy of equal opportunity and does not discriminate against any person because of sex, race, disability, sexual orientation, religion or age.

Only Polish citizens and "Karta Polaka" holders* permanently residing in Poland are eligible. Poles living outside of Poland may NOT participate in this program.

Dual citizens (the United States and Poland) as well as individuals holding the United States permanent residency status (Green Card) are not eligible. For scholarships for American citizens, please visit our Domestic Scholarships Programs.

Applicants must hold an M.A. or M.S. degree prior to the commencement date of the award. The preference is given to doctoral or postdoctoral candidates. 

Candidates need to submit a certificate of employment or enrollment in doctoral studies issued by a Polish academic institution.

Applicants must have strong English language proficiency, sufficient to participate effectively in formal and informal conversations on practical, social, and professional topics and to carry out the proposed study/research. English proficiency will be assessed during personal interviews in Warsaw.

 An applicant has to be eligible for the U.S. exchange visitor J-1 visa.

 There are no restrictions to fields of study/research.

Repeat participation ("Reapplication") – All participants of the Exchange Program to the United States are subject to a 3-year ban on "repeat participation," which means you can apply for another KF grant or fellowship only after three full years since the completion of the KF grant/fellowship. 

AWARD ENTITLEMENTS

  • Teaching fellowships are awarded for up to 10 months; fellowships and grants are awarded for 3 to 9 months, depending on the nature and scope of the research project and recommendations by the American Institution. The final decision on the duration is made by the Foundation's Scholarship Committees in Poland and in the United States. 
  • The awards generally start at $2,500 per month to cover living/accommodation costs and may depend on the duration of stay and location of study.
  • Additional a one-time allowance $ 1,500 will be provided to the grantee/fellow upon arrival to cover expenses incurred, such as airfare and visa fees. Neither the award nor the one-time allowance may be paid prior to arrival in the United States.
  • Invitation to the Scholarship Presentation Reception in Poland.
  • Access to the Kosciuszko Alumni in the U.S. and Poland for social and professional networking.
  • Assistance of the Kosciuszko Foundation with administration, visas and general inquiries.
  • Invitation to the KF Annual Fundraising Dinner & Ball in New York. (number of seats is limited).

AWARD EXCLUSIONS

The grants/fellowships do not cover:

  • Medical and travel insurance
  • Travel and living expenses of dependents
  • Short-term academic visits to present a paper at a conference or attend a seminar or training
  • Publications

SELECTION CRITERIA

In addition to academic excellence, the Kosciuszko Foundation is also looking for ambassadorial skills and a desire to further the Kosciuszko Foundation's mission upon return to Poland.

Candidates are selected based on various factors, which may include (but are not limited to)

  • Academic requirements
  • Project feasibility
  • Site of acceptance
  • Personal qualifications (maturity, adaptability, communication skills, ambassadorial qualities)
  • English language proficiency
  • Available funds

APPLICATION PROCEDURE

How to Apply: 

Step #1: Secure three recommendation letters and have your recommenders send them directly to the exchangetotheus@thekf.org.  

Requirements of a Recommendation letter:

  • Recommenders (not applicants) must send their letters directly to the Kosciuszko Foundation at exchangetotheus@thekf.org from institutional email addresses. Recommendations sent by the applicant will not be considered.
  • Letters should be addressed to the Kosciuszko Foundation Academic Advisory Committee.
  • Recommendations should evaluate your professional work and your proposed project.
  • Recommendation letters should be in English, typed on institutional letterhead and signed.
  • Three letters of recommendation: Two letters should be from professors in the field of your research/studies, who should comment on your purpose for conducting research/studies in the United States. The third letter should be from a colleague in your discipline, who is outside your home institution. Such letters help demonstrate the breadth of your scholarly reputation.
  • Anyone who serves as a recommender may not also provide the applicant with an invitation letter.
  • References from relatives are not permitted.
  • The KF does not accept recommendation letters after the application deadline, which is October 31st, 2019.
  • The letter may be submitted as either a PDF file or a Microsoft Word file.

Step #2: Fill out an online application and attach all required supporting documents.

Application form: Applications for the Exchange Program to the U.S. 2020/2021 are now closed. Please come back in July 2020.

Supporting Documents: As part of the application, you must upload the following required documents from (a) to (e), additional documents (f) are only for those applying for teaching fellowships, visual art projects, literary writers, journalists, and critics.

a) A well-defined, typewritten proposal (no more than 500 words) with a specific study/research plan.  The proposals exceeding 500 words by more than 15% will not be considered. There is no template for a successful project proposal as each project is unique. Applicants are encouraged to have someone outside of their area of specialization read their project proposal for clarity, formatting, and specificity as well as general proofreading. (Teaching fellowship applicants unless they want to conduct simultaneously research and teaching projects they do not need to submit a research proposal.)

b) A current invitation from a U.S. educational institution (a host letter) where the applicant plans to conduct research/studies. You must secure your placement or affiliation. The KF does not assist in establishing contacts. You can only submit one host letter unless your research involves conducting it in more than one institution.

 Requirements of a Host letter:

  • Your host institution contact should write host letters, ideally by the relevant department/faculty head or direct supervisor during your proposed program.
  • Host letters should be typed on institutional letterhead and signed
  • The letter should contain the proposed academic year
  • The KF does not accept host letters after the application deadline

c) Curriculum Vitae, including a list of relevant and recent publications of which the applicant is the principal author. The Curriculum Vitae describes academic credentials and demonstrates a record of scholarly achievements. When composing a Curriculum Vitae, it is essential to include:

  • Education (universities attended, degrees earned, and dates received)
  • Professional positions held
  • Courses taught and other services provided to students and the home institution
  • Publications (provide full citations and list them starting with the most recent)
  • Other professional activities, such as workshops, seminars and consultations
  • Membership and activities in professional associations
  • Professional honors, awards and fellowships

d) A scan of the applicant's passport ID page. 

e) A current photograph of yourself. Your photo isn't used to determine eligibility but is vital for donor relations. If awarded, your photo will be an important part of your scholarship profile. Provide a photo that is at least 500KB and the highest resolution possible (300 dpi preferred).

All photos must meet the following requirements:

  • At least 500KB
  • High resolution
  • A clear face shot
  • Suitable for the KF publications to include: our website, newsletters, donor communications, and/or event materials.

f) Additional documents:

Literary writers, journalists, and critics must support their research proposal with significant samples of their work

Visual artists are required to submit catalogs, photographs, slides, or videos of their work. All submitted materials are nonreturnable. These may also be mailed.

Applicants for the Teaching Fellowship should attach a Teaching Plan (Course Syllabus).

Step # 3: In-person interviews in Poland, Warsaw

Each application is initially assessed by the Kosciuszko Foundation's Academic Advisory Committee.

The KF Exchange Program Officer contacts the short-listed applicants to arrange an interview. All interviews must be attended in person by the applicant. Those who are unable to attend an interview will be advised to reapply the following year. Interviews will be scheduled as early as possible and will be conducted between 17 to 28, February 2020.

Interviews are held back-to-back, over several days. The Kosciuszko Foundation Scholarship Commission panel members interview dozens of applicants, which means that once you have been assigned a date and time of your interview, any rescheduling will be impossible.

The purpose of the interviews is to confirm that the candidate can communicate effectively, can demonstrate the skills described in the application materials, and has the potential for contributing to the chosen area of study or research. We are looking for someone who can convince the committee that he or she 1) presents a valuable project and will implement it successfully, 2) will have positive effects on their areas of specialization, and 3) will represent Poland and the Kosciuszko Foundation positively.

Scholarship Commission

The Kosciuszko Foundation Scholarship Commission comprises representatives from relevant professional fields, senior academics, The KF alumni and The KF staff. We make sure that at least one scholar representing your discipline is always present.

Interview structure:

Interviews are conducted only in English

Each candidate will be interviewed individually for approximately 30 minutes. The general structure of the interview consists of:

  • 5-minute welcome and introduction. You should explain your background and professional interests.
  • 15-minute presentation of your project/research proposal. You can prepare a PowerPoint or video presentation. A computer with Windows will be available, but you can bring your own (we are not responsible for any connection failures of your equipment).
  • 10-minute Q&A session

After the interviews are completed, all applicants are ranked in order of preference by the Commission to determine the nominations for Fellowships/Grants that will be forwarded to the Kosciuszko Foundation Board.

Step #4: Award announcements

The KF Selection Committee submits the nominations for Fellowships/Grant to the Kosciuszko Foundation Board for approval. The number of Fellowships on offer varies from year to year, depending on available funds.

All applicants will be notified of the outcome by Exchange Program Officer by the end of March.

The Kosciuszko Foundation will not make any comments on individual applications or give any explanations regarding the final result.

Re-Application            

Applications of unsuccessful candidates are valid for two years only. To be reconsidered for grant/fellowship in the next academic year, you need to submit to ExchangeToTheUs@thekf.org:

(1) a letter requesting reconsideration

(2) a letter confirming the applicant's continued institutional academic affiliation in Poland

(3) an updated invitation from a United States academic institution.

DATES AND DEADLINES

This application process is for the academic year 2020-2021. Applicants applying in this cycle, if successful, must commence their program no earlier than July 1, 2020 and finish no later than June 30, 2021. Please consider this when planning your proposed program.

 The application cycle opens: July 9, 2019 at 09:00 AM (EST)

The application cycle closes: October 31, 2019 at 23:59 PM (EST)

  • All applications and letters of recommendation must be received by this deadline in order to be considered.
  • Late applications will not be accepted.
  • Please read the eligibility requirements on the website before commencing an application.

January 2020 – Shortlisted candidates invited to interviews in Poland.

February 17 to 28, 2020 –Interviews in Warsaw

By the end of March 2020 – Recipients of the fellowships/grants notified

REPORTS AND PUBLICATIONS

The KF Exchange Program participants are required to submit mid-term and final reports of their research to the Kosciuszko Foundation. Any delay in submitting the reports may result in blacklisting the participant and financial consequences.

All participants must acknowledge the Kosciuszko Foundation in any publication and/or broadcast resulting from their visit to the United States under the KF auspices. Suggested credit line: This research has been made possible by the Kosciuszko Foundation. The American Centre of Polish Culture. A copy of any such publication should be passed to the Kosciuszko Foundation for permanent record.

HEALTH AND ACCIDENT COVERAGE

All participants of the KF Exchange Program to the United States are obliged to purchase health and accident insurance coverage.  The KF can assist in purchasing the insurance, in which case you will be notified of the amount and extent of your insurance coverage. All questions regarding health and accident insurance coverage should be directed to the insurer and not the KF. It is the participant's responsibility to ensure that the insurer provides adequate insurance for their needs, and to arrange additional coverage if necessary. The Kosciuszko Foundation is not liable for any loss, damage or injury, which a participant may suffer during their time as the KF Exchange Program to the United States participant. By accepting the award, the participant agrees to waive any right they may have to take action against the Kosciuszko Foundation to recover any loss or make any claim for damages.

POSTPONEMENT OF PROGRAM

Program participation may be postponed until a subsequent year only under exceptional circumstances and after being granted permission from the President of the Kosciuszko Foundation. An applicant must write an official request for postponement explaining why they are unable to conduct their research in the given academic year.

TERMINATION OF PROGRAM

The KF reserves the right to revoke or terminate this award, should noncompliance with the provisions of the program warrant such action. Grounds upon which the KF may revoke this program include, but are not limited to, the following:

▪ violation of the laws of the U.S. or Poland,

▪ violation of U.S. immigration regulations

▪ misconduct

▪ engaging in any unlawful activity or activities that may bring the KF into disrepute

▪ engaging in unauthorized income-producing activities

▪ abusive or disrespectful behavior toward the KF or Host Institution staff or fellow participants

▪ failure to complete the program

▪ premature departure from the program

▪ failure to submit the reports required by the KF

▪ physical or mental incapacitation

 DATA & PRIVACY POLICY

The Kosciuszko Foundation takes the privacy of your personal data very seriously. This Privacy Policy applies to all information collected or submitted as part of the Exchange Program to the U.S. application process and its administration.

The use of your personal information is limited to the following:

  • Processing and reviewing applications
  • Communicating and answering questions about our application process and individual applications;
  • Administering our programs and awarding the KF fellowships and grants;
  • Providing ongoing services and communication to our Fellows and Grantees;
  • Sending e-mails and e-newsletters unless you opt out.
  • If you are accepted to the KF Exchange Program to the U.S., the information from your application and the other information you share with us will be used by the KF to administer the Exchange to the U.S. and for promotional purposes within the scope of the Kosciuszko Foundation mission.
  • Alumni management (including: membership administration, networking activities, direct marketing, etc.)

Our Commitment to data security

To prevent unauthorized access, maintain data accuracy, and ensure the correct use of information, we have put in place appropriate physical, electronic, and managerial safeguards to secure the information we collect online.

Although we take appropriate measures to safeguard against unauthorized disclosures of information, we cannot assure you that personally identifiable information that we collect will never be disclosed in a manner that is inconsistent with this Privacy Policy.