SUSI for Scholars and Secondary School Educators 2019

SUSI for Scholars and Secondary Public School Educators

Deadline for submitting applications: Sunday, February 3, 2019

The United States Embassy in Uruguay is pleased to announce the Study of the United States Institutes (SUSI) 2019 for Scholars, community leaders and Secondary Public Schools/UTU Educators or Administrators.

SUSI is designed as an intensive five/six-week post-graduate level academic program with integrated study tours hosted at U.S. universities for multinational professional groups (see eligibility criteria below) that will take place in June/July 2019.

Institute Description and Goals:

The program’s purpose is to provide foreign university faculty, community leaders and secondary school educators from countries worldwide with a deeper understanding of U.S. society, education, culture, and institutions, past and present, in order to strengthen curricula and improve the quality of teaching about the U.S. in college, university, and secondary school classrooms abroad.

This year EIGHT institute programs are offered:

  1. American Culture and Values
  2. American Politics and Political Thought
  3. Contemporary American Literature
  4. U.S. Foreign Policy
  5. Journalism and Media
  6. Religious Freedom and Pluralism in the U.S.
  7. Youth, Workforce Development, and Closing the Skills Gap *NEW*
  8. Institute for Secondary Public Schools/UTU Educators

The institutes will take place at various colleges and universities throughout the United States over the course of five to six weeks beginning in June/July 2019.

You are encouraged to visit the website to obtain general information about the Institutes.

Description of each Institute: 
  • SUSI on American Politics and Political Thought will provide a multinational group of 18 experienced foreign university faculty and practitioners insight into how intellectual and political movements have influenced modern American political institutions and a deeper understanding of major currents in U.S. political thought from the colonial period to the present.  Drawing upon the American Political Development approach, the Institute will provide a full and diverse understanding of U.S. political thought and its connection to U.S. politics, public policy, and institutions by linking contemporary issues with historical and social debates. The Institute will explore particular themes including self-rule and limited government, liberty and freedom, individualism and identity, equality and inequality, and the American Dream.  The Institute will conclude with an integrated two-week study tour to New York City; Philadelphia and Harrisburg, Pennsylvania; Shepherdstown, West Virginia; Charlottesville, Virginia; and Washington, D.C. Hosted by: University of Massachusetts, Donahue Institute in Amherst, MA will host this Institute.
  • SUSI on Contemporary American Literature will provide a multinational group of up to 18 foreign university faculty and scholars with a deeper understanding of U.S. society and culture, past and present, through an examination of contemporary American (U.S.) literature.  Its purpose is twofold: to explore contemporary American writers and writing in a variety of genres; and to suggest how the themes explored in those works reflect larger currents within contemporary U.S. society and culture. The program will explore the diversity of the American literary landscape, examining how major contemporary writers, schools, and movements reflect the traditions of the U.S. literary canon.  At the same time, the program will expose participants to writers who represent a departure from that tradition, and who are establishing new directions for American literature. Host institution: Seattle University in Washington.
  • SUSI on Journalism and Media will provide a multinational group of 18 experienced and highly motivated foreign journalism instructors and other related specialists with a deeper understanding of the roles that journalism and the media play in U.S. society.  The Institute will examine the role of journalists in recognizing and preventing disinformation and will explore strategies for media and information literacy to counter disinformation. Additionally, the Institute 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.  In addition, the Institute will examine pedagogical strategies for teaching students of journalism the basics of the tradecraft: researching, critical thinking, reporting, interviewing, writing, and editing. The program will also 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. The program will take place during the June to August timeframe in 2019.  Host institution still to be determined.
  • SUSI on Religious Pluralism in the United States will provide a multinational group of up to 18 foreign university faculty and practitioners with a deeper understanding of U.S. society and culture, past and present, through an examination of religious pluralism in the United States and its intersection with American democracy.  Employing a multi-disciplinary approach and drawing on fields such as history, political science, anthropology and sociology, law, and others, the program will explore both the historical and contemporary relationship between religion and state in the United States. Participants will examine the ways in which religious thought and practice have influenced, and been influenced by the development of American-style democracy. Study will also include a survey of the diversity of contemporary religious beliefs in relation to the first amendment to the U.S. constitution, elections, public policy, and the demography of the United States.  Interfaith dialogue in the American context will be practiced in the context of the group itself as well as site visits to a diversity of religious communities. Host institution: Dialogue Institute at Temple University in Philadelphia, PA.
  • SUSI on American Culture and Values will promote American culture, leadership, and values by providing a multinational group of 18 experienced and highly motivated foreign university faculty and other specialists with a deeper understanding of U.S. society, civil society institutions, democratic principles, human rights, and the rule of law.  The Institute 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.  The program will 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.  Host institution: still to be determined.
  • SUSI on U.S. Foreign Policy will provide a multinational group of 18 experienced foreign university faculty and practitioners with a deeper understanding of new approaches to U.S. foreign policy and how U.S. foreign policy is formulated and implemented.  The Institute will include a historical review of significant events, individuals, and philosophies that have shaped U.S. foreign policy. The Institute will 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.  The program will also examine the current U.S. foreign policymaking and the new trends that are shaping policy. 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 will be included.  The program will also 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). The program will take place during the June to August timeframe in 2019. Host institution still to be determined.
  • NEW: SUSI on Youth, Workforce Development, and Closing the Skills Gap will provide a multinational group of 18 experienced foreign faculty and practitioners with a deeper understanding of how new socioeconomic trends have changed the concept of work, workforce development, and career paths in the United States.  The academic program 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.  Topics such as urbanization, globalization, economic development, and advances in technology such as automation, robotics, and artificial intelligence will also be included. The Institute will 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.  The program will take place during the June to August timeframe in 2019. Host institution still to be determined.
  • SUSI for Secondary Public Schools/UTU Educators (Teachers and/or administrators) will provide one multinational group of 20 experienced secondary public schools/UTU teachers and/or administrators with a deeper understanding of U.S. society, education, and culture – past and present.  The focus of the Institute will be on providing content and materials for participants to develop high school level curricula about the United States.  Please note that the main focus of the Institute for teachers is on content and materials about the United States rather than teaching methods and pedagogy.  To this end, the Institute is organized around a central theme or themes in U.S. civilization. Through a combination of traditional, multi-disciplinary, and interdisciplinary approaches, program content will examine the history and evolution of U.S. institutions and values, broadly defined.  The program will also serve to illuminate contemporary political, social, and economic debates in American society. The four-week academic residency will be complemented by a one-week study tour. The residency consists of a balanced series of lectures, panels, seminar discussions, readings, workshops, site visits, meetings with practitioners in the field and cultural activities. The aim of the study tour is to showcase the cultural, geographic, and ethnic diversity of the United States.  Hosted by: University of Montana in Missoula, MT.

Other Essential Program Information

Program Funding
The U.S. State Department will cover all participant costs, including: program administration; international and domestic travel and ground transportation; book, cultural, housing and meals, mailing, and incidental allowances.

Housing and Meal Arrangements
Typically, participants will have a private room with a shared bathroom during the residency portion (four weeks) of the institute, and will have to share a hotel room during the study tour (up to two weeks). Housing will typically be in college or university owned housing.  Most meals will be provided at campus facilities, though participants may have access to a kitchen to cook some meals on their own.  Full details will be provided if the grants are approved.  It is important that the applicants are comfortable with such housing arrangements, particularly sharing a room with another participant.

Care will be taken to ensure that any special requirements regarding diet, daily worship, and medical care are satisfied.

Health Benefits
All participants will receive the Department of States coverage of $100,000 with a $ 25 co-pay per medical visit and $75 co-pay per emergency room visit, for the duration of the program.  Pre-existing conditions are not covered. Information on the health benefit program may be found online at

Program Requirements and Restrictions
Participants are expected to participate fully in the program. They are expected to attend all lectures and organized activities, and complete assigned readings. Family members and/or friends cannot accompany participants on any part of the program. Candidates should be made aware that they are applying for an intensive institute and there will be little time for personal pursuits unrelated to the program. The institute should not be viewed as a research program.

Candidate Description and qualifications

  • Candidates should be mid-career, typically between the ages of 30-50, highly-motivated and experienced professionals from institutions of higher education or research focused organizations (not for-profits, think tanks, etc.). While the educational level of participants will likely vary, most should have graduate degrees and have substantial knowledge of the thematic area of the Institute or a related field.
  • The ideal candidates are individuals who have firm plans to enhance, update or develop courses and/or educational materials with a U.S. studies focus or component, or whose home institution is seeking to introduce aspects of U.S. studies into its curricula, to develop new courses in the subject of the Institute, to enhance and update existing courses on the United States, or to offer specialized seminars/workshops for professionals in U.S. studies areas related to the program theme. While the nominee’s scholarly and professional credentials are an important consideration, the potential impact and multiplier effect of the Institute is equally important. Ideal candidates will have little or no prior experience in the United States.
  • Candidates must demonstrate English language fluency. Institutes are rigorous and demanding programs; participants will be expected to handle substantial reading assignments in English and to fully and actively participate in all seminar and panel discussions.
  • Candidates should be willing and able to fully take part in an intensive post-graduate level academic program and study tour. While senior faculty members are eligible applicants, we will give first consideration to younger and mid-career professionals, and to persons who are likely to be comfortable with campus life and an active program schedule.

Other Factors for Consideration
U.S. Embassy Montevideo will select one participant per institute (up to 7) as a candidate and send their applications to Washington to compete with candidates submitted by other embassies worldwide. Please be advised that the Study of the United States Institutes are highly competitive, therefore we cannot guarantee a slot for a Uruguayan candidate in each institute. Slots are fully pending on consistent justification arguments and on the position and background information of each candidate on their respective universities (these information must be clear when filling the application).

Nominations will be reviewed by the U.S Embassy in Montevideo to select one candidate per institute and by the Branch staff in the State Department in Washington for final candidate’s approvals. Candidates may be contacted by the U.S. Embassy for a phone/skype interview if needed between December 26-29, so please be reachable. Candidates will be notified regarding their selection or non-selection by the end of April 2019.


The following factors will be used in selecting participants from among the nominations.

The Department of State and the U.S. Embassy in Montevideo would like to emphasize that the clarity with which each candidate and their applications address each of these factors strongly affects a candidate’s chance of selection.

  • U.S Embassy Justification: The justification statement of the Embassy in Montevideo is a critical portion of the nomination, as it offers the Embassy the opportunity to provide Washington with specific reasons why the participation of a nominee is particularly desirable in terms of enhancing the study of the United States at the home institution, or more broadly, in the home country, while competing with other nominees from all over the world.  We request each candidate in their justification portion of the application, to provide the Embassy with the following information in order for us to write a strong justification:  would the nomination serve to strengthen an already established faculty, or is it intended to give a boost to a fledgling program?  Is the nominee a leader within his or her field who is in a unique position to have a significant and immediate impact on curricular development, or is the nominee a younger professional with exceptional promise whose participation is likely to result in a substantial benefit to their home institution in the long run?  Describe the role that the nominees play at their home institution. Why, in short, does the nomination matter?
    This justification does not need to be especially lengthy (250 words), but it should be included in the letter of recommendation addressing these and any other relevant issues.
  • Candidate Statement (essay): In order to get a better sense of potential participant’s motivations and goals, Washington requests that each candidate provide a short personal statement (210 words) indicating why he or she is interested in participating in the program and what he or she expects to get out of the experience.
  • English Language Ability: It is imperative that all candidates demonstrate English language fluency. Institutes are rigorous and demanding programs; participants will be expected to handle substantial reading assignments in English and to be full and active participants in all seminar and panel discussions. English fluency is vital to a successful experience in the Institute, both for your participant and participants from other countries.
  • Priority Consideration: Priority will be given to candidates who have firm plans to enhance, update or develop courses and/or educational materials with a U.S. studies focus or component, who have limited experience in the United States, and who have special interest in the program subject areas as demonstrated through past scholarship, accomplishments, and professional duties.  In addition, Washington makes every effort to have both a geographic and gender balance in the makeup of the institute.
Nomination Format and Deadline:

Candidates MUST complete and send the Application Form no later than Sunday, February 3, 2019. Applications received after the deadline will not be considered.

We look forward to receiving your nominations!

NOTE: By applying for this program, you agree (if selected as a finalist or alternate) to have your name included in any official embassy publications including but not limited to:  press releases, email notifications and the official embassy website, Facebook Page, Twitter feed, Instagram and YouTube site.

Frequently Asked Questions:

This FAQ section addresses some commonly asked questions by posts.  If you cannot find an answer to your question please contact the program officer for the Scholar Institute(s) for which you wish to nominate.

  1. What degree of English proficiency should a nominee have? All participants must be fully proficient in English; throughout the Institute they will need to fully understand lectures, actively participate in discussions, and read and write assignments in English.
  2. Can a nominee who is a dual citizen (U.S. and country of origin) participate in Study of the U.S. Institutes? No.  U.S. citizens and permanent residents (green card holders) are NOT eligible to participate in this program.
  3. Can we nominate an individual who is not a citizen of the nominating post country? Study of the U.S. Institutes are programs designed to further mutual understanding between U.S. citizens and citizens of other countries.  If you wish to nominate someone who is not a citizen of the nominating country, please explain clearly on the application the reasons for the nomination.
  4. My nominee has been to the U.S. before; would he/she be disqualified? No.  Nominees with some experience in the United States can be considered for the program.  Please be sure to clearly indicate the purpose of the nominee’s prior visit(s) to the United States, the year, and the length of his/her stay as requested on the nomination form.
  5. How much free time/time for independent research will a participant have during the program? There will be some free time during the program as well as some time designated for independent research.  However, nominees MUST understand that this is an intensive academic program and they are expected to participate in all lectures, activities, and scheduled events.  Participants in Scholar Institutes may, at their own expense, opt to extend their stay in the United States after the close of their program to the extent allowed by visa regulations.
  6. My nominee is not a college professor; can he/she be considered for the program? Yes. ECA will consider nominees from a variety of professional backgrounds who are professors at all stages of their careers, practitioners in a designated field, college and university administrators, and community leaders, among others.
  7. If a nominee has relatives in the U.S., would he/she have time to see them? Because of the intensive nature of the Institutes, participants will NOT be able to leave the Institute to visit relatives or friends.  Participants in Scholar Institutes may, at their own expense, opt to extend their stay in the United States after the close of their program to the extent allowed by visa regulations.
  8. Can a relative travel and stay with the participant during the Institute? No.  Relatives are NOT permitted to travel or stay with a participant during the program.  There are no exceptions to this rule.  Participants in Scholar Institutes may, at their own expense, opt to extend their stay in the U.S. after the close of their program to the extent allowed by visa regulations.
  9. If my nominee is chosen as an alternate, what are the chances that my nominee will participate in the program?  The Study of the U.S. Branch strives to have the best possible diversity and gender balance in each Institute. If a selected candidate is not able to participate, the Study of the U.S. Branch will choose a candidate from the alternate list, if time allows.  Alternates are listed in alphabetical order (not rank) on the selection cables.
  10. Can a participant arrive early/late for the Institute? ECA/A/E/USS expects Post to arrange flight itineraries so that participants arrive on the Institute start date. Occasionally flight schedules necessitate that a participant to arrive a day early.  These situations will be addressed on a case by case basis in consultation with the ECA program officer and the host institution.  Post MUST first consult with ECA program officer about a possible early/late arrival.
  11. Can a participant stay after the end of the Institute? Yes.  Under the terms of their J-1 visas, participants have up to 30 days after the end of the program to depart from the U.S.  However, the participant must be aware that s/he is responsible for all expenses after the end of the Institute and will no longer have ECA-sponsored health benefits.
  12. Can a participant miss one part or component of the Institute? No.  All participants are expected to participate in all scheduled lectures, events, site visits, trips, and activities.
  13. How much money will participants need to bring for the program?  The Study of the U.S. Institutes cover all costs of an individual’s participation including transportation, lodging, and meals.  Generally, host institutions provide for meals through a combination of a cafeteria meal plan and cash allowance to permit participants to cook or eat at local restaurants.  Information on housing and meal arrangements will be provided by the host institution six weeks prior to the start of the Institute.  Participants should bring their own spending money if they wish to purchase souvenirs or other items during their time in the United States.  All participating scholars will receive a stipend to purchase books and research materials while in the U.S. as well as a certain amount to cover mailing costs.
  14. Will applicants with disabilities be considered? Yes, the Study of the U.S. Branch welcomes nominations for individuals with disabilities.  We are committed to working with our Institute hosts to arrange reasonable accommodations for all participants.  While notification of a disability will not negatively impact selection, we ask that you identify disabilities during the nomination process so that we can begin working with our Institute hosts to ensure appropriate accommodations.
  15.  To what extent do the Institutes for Secondary Educators cover teaching methods and pedagogy?  SUSIs for Secondary Educators focus primarily on content, materials, and education related to the United States.  The Institutes for teachers typically include a handful of sessions on teaching methodologies; however these sessions are supplemental to the main focus of the Institute.  Teachers more interested in teaching methods and pedagogy rather than U.S. content may wish to apply for the Teaching Excellence in Achievement (TEA) program or the International Leaders in Education Program (ILEP).