Programs + Awards

Research Scholarship Program


Research Scholarship Program

Why Participate?

BAFF provides fellowships for professors and academic researchers to conduct independent or collaborative research projects in the U.S. for up to 12 months.

The Research Scholar Program fosters the exchange of ideas between the Baltic states and the U.S. and stimulates international collaboration and research efforts. It promotes mutual enrichment, further strengthening ties between the nations and providing invaluable career and personal development opportunities for participants to leverage in their leadership roles upon return to their home countries and institutions.

BAFF provides up to $60,000 to cover project-related costs and living expenses for your entire stay.

  • Have you ever been invited to or thought about being a Visiting Research Fellow in the U.S. but were unable to because of funding limitations?
  • Do you need access to cutting-edge research facilities or equipment not available at your home institution?
  • Are there advanced research methodologies in the U.S. that your research and home institution can benefit from?

Visa Services: BAFF, through CIEE, will provide J-1 Visa sponsorship to all participants and J-2 Visa sponsorship for accompanying family members.

Family Allowance: BAFF provides visa sponsorship and a family allowance to support accompanying family members.

Participants who bring family are able to share their experience and cultural immersion with their loved ones. Children may be able to attend school, learn English, participate in sports, and make friends.



Who Can Participate?

Senior academic and research professionals are encouraged to apply. Candidates should hold a Ph.D. degree, or have significant relevant professional experience. Applicants must design and develop their own projects and create budgets for their implementation.

Program Eligibility

Applicants to the Research Scholar Program must:

Desirable Experiences

The Research Scholar Program fosters the exchange of ideas between the Baltic states and the U.S. and stimulates international collaboration and research efforts. It promotes mutual enrichment, further strengthening ties between the nations and providing invaluable career and personal development opportunities for participants to leverage in their leadership roles upon return to their home countries and institutions.

Applicants will be selected based on but not limited to the following criteria:

  • Hold senior academic or research positions
  • Have demonstrated a track record of achievement
  • Proposed project likely will impact their home country or home institution upon completion
  • Professional objectives match the values and mission of BAFF
  • Able to serve as a cultural ambassador to the U.S.

The BAFF Research Scholar project proposal will be evaluated in terms of:

  • Validity as a scholarly undertaking
  • Feasibility (For example, can the project be completed in one year? Is the candidate’s formal training adequate for the project?)
  • Potential impact and benefit of home institution or Baltic states upon completion.


Dates & Deadlines

Applications accepted twice per year. BAFF Interns typically travel to the U.S. within six months of applying.

Spring

Application Deadline

October 30

All application materials must be received by the application deadline.

Decision Notification

December 20

Shortlisted applicants will be invited to in-person interviews before the decision notification date.

Project Timeline

April 1 - July 1

Internships typically begin within this period.

Fall

Application Deadline

April 2

All application materials must be received by the application deadline.

Decision Notification

June 1

Shortlisted applicants will be invited to in-person interviews before the decision notification date.

Project Timeline

October 1 - January 1

Internships typically begin within this period.


Funding

The maximum Research Scholar fellowship award is $60,000. Awards are determined based on established guidelines and will depend on the length, location, and nature of the individual project.

Awards are intended to cover:

  • Participant round-trip airfare
  • Travel health insurance
  • J-1 visa sponsorship
  • Pre-departure orientation

Monthly stipend to cover:

  • Accommodation
  • Personal expenses
  • Local transportation
  • Family allowance, if applicable
  • Approved U.S. conference attendance

Additional Benefits:

  • 24/7 emergency support
  • Personalized support
  • No fees whatsoever

Awards DO NOT cover:

  • Significant dependent expenses
  • Leisure travel in the U.S.
  • Personal shopping or gifts
  • Hardware or equipment purchases (computers, laptops, printers etc.)
  • Additional expenses that pertain to lifestyle preferences

Family Allowance

BAFF provides J-2 visa sponsorship and a family allowance designed to support up to three accompanying family members. BAFF aims to remain true to its primary mission of providing financial grants to BAFF Research Scholars to gain valuable professional experience in the U.S. BAFF believes that a larger part of the funding granted to the BAFF Research Scholar should go to support the project proposal. The Family Allowance may be limited if the overall award exceeds $60,000.

The decision to bring dependents is a personal one that should be carefully evaluated by applicants based on their financial circumstances and other factors. Applicants planning to bring their spouse and/or dependents with them should have sufficient personal savings to cover family-related expenses not covered by BAFF – for example, airfare and mandatory health insurance.

For J-2 Visa eligibility, a dependent is defined as any legally married spouse and minor unmarried children under the age of 21. Dependents must accompany the applicant for a minimum of three months to receive a family allowance.


Requirements

Thank you for your interest in applying to the Baltic-American Freedom Foundation (BAFF) Research Scholar Program. The following checklist will help you gather the documents required to complete your application. You must complete the application in its entirety and submit all required documents by the published deadline.

If you have questions while you are working on your application, please see the application overview page and/or contact us: info@BalticAmericanFreedomFoundation.org.

  • Application: Download the form here, complete it, and save it (PDF).
  • Passport-sized photo: (JPG).
  • Résumé: (PDF)
  • Letter of invitation from your U.S. host institution: (PDF)
    The letter should state the length of the hosting period and the resources available to you (e.g., office/lab space, equipment and supplies, library access, etc.)
  • Two Letters of Recommendation: (PDF)
    At least one of the letters should be from your home institution.
  • The project proposal will be evaluated in terms of
    • Validity as a scholarly undertaking,
    • Feasibility (Can the project be completed in one year? Is the candidate’s formal training adequate for the project?)
    • Potential impact and benefit for the home institution or country upon completion
  • Statement of proposed study or research: (PDF)
    In no more than 1,000 words describe your research plans and reasons for wishing to undertake them. Be as specific and well defined as possible, and include:
    • Project title
    • Summary/abstract of project goals and objectives
    • Detailed description of project
    • Dates and duration of project
    • Specific information about resources available only at the host institution (e.g., special collections, equipment, research facilities, outstanding research teams in the field, etc.)
    • Likely impact and benefits on home institution or home country upon completion

For all application questions, please contact:

info@BalticAmericanFreedomFoundation.org


Two-Year Home Country Physical Presence (Residency) Requirement

Read Carefully!

Upon completion of the BAFF program, scholarship recipients are required to return to, and to reside in, their country of permanent residency for a minimum of two years, and are not permitted to stay or attempt to stay in the U.S. or any other foreign country, including to work, pursue work, or study.

Short-term visits, up to a maximum of 14 days, to foreign countries for the primary purpose of tourism or short-term business are allowed. Visits longer than 14 days must be reported to BAFF local representatives before the start of the visit.

The total length of visits of both types cannot exceed 90 days per calendar year.

The residency requirement constitutes a moral obligation that relates to the foundational aim of BAFF to promote business and social development in the Baltic states through investment in human capital. Applicants must agree to uphold the two-year residency requirement as a precondition for applying. If participants do not meet this requirement, the entire scholarship award becomes a debt owed to BAFF and the participant is required to refund all scholarship monies as well as any and all collection expenses, including, but not limited to, legal expenses. Because the residency requirement is at the foundational aim of BAFF, the Foundation and its designees are under no obligation to consider deferment of this requirement.


Apply

Thank you for your interest in applying to the Baltic-American Freedom Foundation (BAFF) Research Scholar Program. You must complete the application in its entirety and submit all required documents by the published deadline. Please review the application checklist above. Starred fields are required.