Study of the U.S. Institutes for Scholars

What is SUSI for Scholars?

The Study of the U.S. Institutes for Scholars (SUSI for Scholars) is a 5-6 week fully-funded professional development program for university teachers and researchers. It is designed to strengthen and support curricula and improve the quality of teaching about the United States in academic institutions overseas. The program takes place during the summer break of universities, mostly between June-August. Exact dates differ each year. The program is announced once annually and funds three to four people each year.

And the program scholarship covers:

  • All Transportation Costs: International airfare and domestic travel (Including in-country visa-related travels if the candidate resides outside Ulaanbaatar);
  • Living and Meals Accommodations: Participants are placed in university housing and are provided with modest meals and incidental expenses allowance;
  • Health Insurance: Participants are provided with accident and sickness benefit for the duration of their program;
  • Visa Costs: Visa payment is waived for all U.S. Government sponsored scholarship participants;
  • Travel Allowance: Participants are provided with small allowance for luggage and other travel-related expenses.

*Please note that SUSI program does not allow dependents to accompany participants. The program will not provide any visa or financial support to any family members. Applicants therefore must not plan to bring any family members along while they participate in the program.

This program is ideal for mid-career university teachers. Ideal candidates will have at least 5 years of teaching experience on the chosen subject and will hold at least Master’s degree on or related subject. Preference will be given to those whose universities intend to update their curriculum or offer a new course on the subject.

Academic Training: Participants spend approximately four weeks at a U.S. university where they take part in a series of lectures, seminar discussions and site visits. They learn about American educational philosophies, explore new teaching methods and pursue related research interests.

Study Trip: Participants spend the remaining two weeks on a study tour, which complements the academic program and includes visits to sites of interest in another geographic region of the country. The program typically concludes with several days of meetings and related study in Washington, D.C.

SUSI for Scholars program offers seven different subject areas to choose from. When applying, applicant must choose one of these subjects that suit his/her research or teaching background:

  1. The Institute on American Culture and Values will promote American culture, leadership, and values by providing a multinational group of 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.
  2. The Institute on Journalism and Media will provide a multinational group of 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.
  3. The Institute on Religious Freedom and Pluralism will provide a multinational group of up to experienced foreign university faculty, scholars, researchers and religious leaders with a deeper understanding of U.S. society and culture, past and present, through an examination of religious freedom as a foundational American value.  The program 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 will also be included. The Institute will 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; and discuss ways in which religious freedom is protected.  In addition, the Institute will 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.
  4. The Institute on U.S. Economics and Business will provide a multinational group of experienced foreign university faculty, researchers, experts and policymakers with a deeper understanding of key components and structures of the U.S. economy as the world’s largest economy.  Using a multidisciplinary approach, the program will explore 1) how financial institutions, investors, and businesses interact to support growth and employment and 2) the institutional backdrop that is required to sustain a competitive and strong private sector, including but not limited to corporate governance structures, monetary policy, and the legal and regulatory framework of the business sector.  The program will also 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. Participants should have 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.
  5. The Institute on U.S. Foreign Policy will provide a multinational group of 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).
  6. The Institute on Youth, Workforce Development, and Closing the Skills Gap will provide a multinational group of 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 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.
  7. The Study of the U.S. Institutes for Secondary Educators will provide multinational groups of experienced secondary school educators (including teachers, administrators, teacher trainers, curriculum developers, textbook writers, ministry of education officials, and others) with a deeper understanding of U.S. society, education, and culture – past and present.  The focus of the Institutes will be on providing content and materials for participants to develop high school level curricula about the United States.

To be eligible, applicants must be:

  1. Mongolian citizens currently living in Mongolia;
  2. Be a university faculty member or a researcher affiliated with a professional academic or research institute;
  3. Have graduate-level professional experience on the subject applying to;
  4. Be proficient in English (Be comfortable with academic English and be able to participate freely in graduate-level academic discussions);
  5. Preference will be given to candidates with limited prior experience in the U.S. (Please note that Mongolians holding U.S. green card are not eligible to apply).

In order to apply for the SUSI for Scholar’s program, the applicant will follow the steps below:

Select a subject area;

Fill out and submit SUSI application form:

  • The application form becomes available for download when the program is announced.
  • The announcement and the applications will be available on Embassy’s website.

Submit the completed application via email to SUSI@usembassy.mn within the deadline noted on the announcement.

Things to remember when filling out an application:

  • Read the announcement carefully in full;
  • Application must be completed in English in electronic format;
  • Applicants must answer all questions in the application form. Incomplete applications will be deemed technically ineligible. No questions can be left blank. Put N/A if not applicable;
  • Application must be typed. Hand-written applications will be disqualified;
  • Essays must be your own work reflecting your original thought. Other people’s works/ideas used anywhere in the application must be properly noted;
  • Please note any word or character limit for essay portions of the application and give your answers within the limit.

All U.S. Government scholarship programs are merit-based. Although we take in to account special circumstances of candidates such as disability, disadvantaged background, or any other notable characteristics, final decision is made based on the candidate’s overall strength as represented by the application quality and interview. We also consider one’s ability to be a cultural ambassador and his/her ability and motivation to give back to the community.

Following are the main steps for selection for the SUSI program:

Technical Screening: This is the initial review to verify the completeness of the applications. During technical screening, we check to see two main things:

  • If applications and any required supplemental documents are complete;
  • If applicants meet all the eligibility requirements.

Application Review: After technical screening, all complete applications are then reviewed by an application review committee. During this process, each application gets to be reviewed by a minimum of three people.

Short List: Based on the recommendations of the application review committee, an interview short list is created. Candidates who are included in the short list are then invited for an in-person interview.

Interview: An interview panel consisting of representatives of the U.S. Embassy and program alumni interviews all short listed candidates and select finalists to be nominated for the global competition.

Nomination: Finalists selected from the interview are then nominated by the embassy to SUSI Program Office in Washington D.C. where they will compete with nominations from embassies from around the world.

Final Selection: If selected from the global competition, the candidate is confirmed to participate in the program.

  • October – November: Scholarship is announced through U.S. Embassy website and social media;
  • November – January: Technical screening, application review and interview;
  • March – April: Final selection results announced to the finalists;
  • June – July: Departure to the U.S.