What should the invitation letter include?
A letter of invitation is an expression of interest from a host institution in the United States. It is a required part of the application.
The letter should state that no tuition or any other research-related fees will be imposed on the applicant. Apart from that, there are no specific requirements for such letters. The letter might include:
The activities for which you are being invited by the host (i.e., research at an institution, special lecturing needs, etc.)
The period of time for which you are invited
A description of the host's interest in the applicant's project
Please be advised that a letter is not a legally binding pledge, nor does it guarantee an applicant a grant/fellowship.
"Karta Polaka" holders.
We encourage "Karta Polaka" holders to apply for the Exchange Program to the United States if you permanently reside in Poland. For those who exchanged their "Karta Polaka" for a Polish permanent residency, you will have to provide a scan of your "Karta stałego pobytu" and proof of Polish descent.
What documents proof Polish descent?
Documents issued by Polish State or church authorities as well as by the authorities of the former Union of Soviet Socialist Republics concerning the applicant or the applicant's parents, grandparents or great grandparents may be used as proof of Polish extraction. Such documents include in particular:
1) Polish identity documents,
2) certificates of personal status or their official copies or baptism certificates confirming links with Polish provenance,
3) documents confirming the completion of military service in the Polish Armed Forces containing an entry informing of Polish nationality,
4) documents confirming the fact of deportation or imprisonment containing an entry informing of Polish nationality,
5) identity documents or other official documents containing an entry informing of Polish nationality.
Other documents may also be used as proof of Polish extraction and in
1) rehabilitation documents of the deportee containing an entry informing
of Polish nationality,
2) documents confirming persecution due to Polish extraction.
What is proof of employment, why do I need to submit it?
The purpose of the "proof of employment" is to demonstrate that the candidate has been employed and will be employed after they return to Poland. Any document such as employment contract or employer statement can serve as proof of employment. Proof of employment can be written in Polish.
What is proof of enrollment in studies? Can it be in Polish?
The purpose of the "proof of enrollment in studies" is to demonstrate that the candidate is a doctoral student and will continue his doctoral studies after return to Poland. It can be issued in Polish.
I am a self-employed artist, do I need to submit a proof of employment?
We understand that many artists are often not engaged in standard employment contracts thus self-employed artists do not need to submit proof of employment.
Is it enough to send a scan of the letter of recommendation?
Yes, it is enough but it has to be sent by your recommender via her/his email address associated with her/his university. It cannot be sent from the private email address.
What format should the Letter of Reconsideration have?
There is no set format for the Letter of Reconsideration, but typically they formally state that you want to be reconsidered and what new accomplishments or research activities you have been working on since you last applied.
As a helpful guideline to get you started, use your letter of reconsideration to answer the following question:
Why is this application better than the previous time you applied when you were not awarded a scholarship?
Is your topic more relevant now?
Do you have a different institution to work with?
Are you personally more prepared for research in the U.S.?
Have you made more contacts with important U.S. researchers in your field since you last applied? Etc.
When re-applying, do I need to include new letters of recommendation?
As we still have your old reference letters on file, you do not need to resubmit them. However, if the topic of your new research project is very different to the one you previously put in your research proposal, you should have to get new reference letters that reflect why you would be a good candidate for this field of work.
Should I ask my Host Institution to give me affiliation for the whole period of my research and during the grace period for application?
Your host College should give you affiliation for the whole period of your research. You are not allowed to conduct any research-related activities during your visa grace period.
I understand that after having J1 visa I cannot apply for another J1 for 2 years - but can I travel to the US on any other kind of visa (e.g. B1 or as a short term scholar)?
There are two categories of J-1 visa: Short- term scholar and Research Scholar/ Professor category.
Short Term Scholar category- especially appropriate if the scholar is in the US for a very short appointment, or is expected to receive multiple, non-adjacent appointments over the coming years.
• The maximum duration of 6 months. Extensions beyond 6 months are not possible.
• Does not impact a scholar's ability to return to the US for a J-1 program in the future.
• Especially appropriate if the scholar is here for a very short appointment, or is expected to receive multiple, non-adjacent appointments over the coming years.
Research Scholar/Professor category:
• The maximum duration of 5 years. If appointed for a shorter term, extensions within this limit are possible. The extension request must be submitted while the current record is active.
• Once the program expires, the scholar will be subject to a 24-month bar that will prevent him or her from returning to the US to pursue another J-1 Research Scholar/Professor program.
However, during the 24-month bar, you can travel to the U.S. on other types of visas (tourist, business, etc).
What is the earliest date I can start my research?
You can start your research any time after July 1st, 2020.
What is the latest date I can start my research?
The academic year 2021/2022 ends on JUNE 30TH, 2022 we ask that you finish your research by this date. In rare exceptations, we might allow continuing the program until the end of July 2022.
Can I use a Powerpoint for my presentation?
Yes, you can prepare a very brief PowerPoint or video presentation. However, a PowerPoint presentation is not necessary. We suggest that you use it only when it is really necessary to describe your project.
Can I work at the host university during my fellowship?
In order to ensure that our scholars are fully committed to their projects while in the US we do not allow to work during your research.
Do you provide assistance in finding a host institution?
You must secure your placement or affiliation. The KF does not assist in establishing contacts.
Can I submit multiple invitations and later choose my host institution?
No, since the site of acceptance is one of the factors considered during the selection process you can only submit an invitation from one host institution.
Can I bring my family with me?
Yes, you can bring your family however please bear in mind there is no additional funding for dependents.
Will you assist with issuing a visa for my dependents?
Yes, we can issue DS-2019 form so you can apply for a J-2 dependent visa for your family if they will stay with you for the whole time of your research. However, if they will just visit you for a couple of weeks they can simply apply for a tourist visa.
Can I conduct my research on a tourist visa?
No. All program participants need to have a valid J-1 visa.
Does the KF help with the visa application?
Yes, the KF can act as your visa sponsor, which means we can issue a DS-2019 document with which you will apply for a J-1 visa at the consular office of the United States Embassy in Poland.
Can I travel back to Poland during my participation in the Exchange Program?
Yes, however you cannot leave for more than 30 days and you will have to ask your visa sponsor for consent.
The KF awarded me with funds for 5-month research, can I divide this research and conduct first part in October and second in June?
No, if you were awarded 5-month research you have to conduct the research without a break.
Can I defer my award to the next academic year?
It is possible however you need to submit a formal request to the President of the Kosciuszko Foundation at ExchangeToTheUS@thekf.org
The KF awarded me with funds for 3-month research however I want to conduct my research for an additional 2 months and cover the expenses from my personal funds or other scholarship.
Yes. However, an invitation you submitted has to be for the whole period of your planned research: 5 months (3 months funded by the KF and 2 months from personal funds). You will also need to provide proof of financial resources ($2000 per month research scholar, professor, short-term scholar or $600 per month a dependent).
if personal funds: a bank statement
if employer support: a letter from your employer confirming how much funds you were awarded
if another scholarship: a letter confirming the scholarship and the amount granted.
Does the KF help in finding accommodation?
Unfortunately, at this time, we are unable to provide any assistance with accommodation.
Do I have to pay taxes?
In Poland U.S. benefits are treated as taxable income and are subject to a regular income tax (Polish Law Journal# 80, of September 10, 1991, section 350).
How will the KF pay me the award?
You will receive the award in installments after your arrival to the US. You can either choose a bank transfer or check.
Do self-employed artists need to provide proof of employment?
No, we do not require proof of employment or academic affiliation from artists.
Can the proof of academic affiliation- proof of employment or enrollment in the doctoral studies be in Polish?
Yes, these documents can be either in Polish or English.
Does the presidential proclamation which suspended the entry of new H-1B, L-1, H-2B and certain J-1 nonimmigrants from June 24 through December 31, 2020 affect participants of the Exchange Program to the US?
NO, J-1 Research Scholar and Short-Term Scholars are not affected by the President Proclamation and can enter the United States to conduct their research.