Friday, 16 January 2015

Introducing the Carnegie Fund for Conference Attendance

New Year’s greetings from Carnegie Corporation.  As 2015 begins, I’m delighted to share with you a new project that we hope will be of interest to postgraduate students and postdoctoral fellows who have benefited from Corporation-supported programs in your institutions.

The Corporation’s board of trustees recently approved a grant for the Carnegie Fund for Conference Attendance (CFCA), a competitive fund to support African beneficiaries of Corporation-supported postgraduate degree and postdoctoral programs to present papers at major international conferences.  A list of eligible Corporation-supported programs is attached.  Since 2008, the Corporation’s primary strategy in Africa has been to assist in the development and retention of the next generation of African academics through support for African universities, postgraduate training networks, and fellowship programs.  Close to 1,000 fellows at masters, doctoral, and postdoctoral levels have received support.  This fund is meant to enable a selection of those fellows who have papers accepted for presentation at major international conferences to heighten their visibility within their disciplines and expand their professional networks.

The fund will be managed by the Institute of International Education (IIE).  For those of you not familiar with the organization, IIE is among the world’s largest and most experienced international exchange organizations, whose mission it is to advance international education and access to education worldwide. IIE currently implements more than 200 programs, benefiting over 30,000 men and women from 185 nations. Funders include the U.S. Department of State in support of the Fulbright Program, U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID); major philanthropic foundations; private and public corporations; foreign governments; and individuals.

More information about the fund and details of the application process will be available soon from IIE, but the basic outline is as follows:
  • Between 100 and 120 conference attendance awards will be made on a competitive basis by the end of 2016.
  • A first call for applications will be made by IIE by February 28, 2015, with a deadline for submission on April 30, 2015.  Two other calls for applications will follow.
  • Applicants must hold an academic appointment at an African university and must have completed a postgraduate degree or postdoctoral fellowship with substantial Corporation support or be a current Corporation-supported fellow in good standing.
  • Beneficiaries who have completed their doctoral or master’s degrees or postdoctoral fellowships will be given first priority for awards, followed by doctoral candidates and current postdoctoral fellows, and, finally, master’s candidates.
Selections will be made by an IIE-constituted committee on the basis of the following criteria: 
1) significance of the conference to the applicant’s field (in this instance, “international” refers to the composition of the conference attendees rather than the geographic location of the conference)
2) distance of the conference from the applicant’s university
3) the strength of the applicant’s plan to make the most of the opportunity, both for his or her own professional development and for his or her department/faculty/university.  

Awards will be made provisionally and finalized only upon receipt of proof of acceptance of a paper for presentation.

IIE looks forward to developing an ongoing relationship with all CFCA stakeholders and is prepared to respond to questions regarding eligibility to participate in the CFCA, status of applications submitted for review, and inquiries on the selection process overall.  Inquiries regarding the above can be sent to cfca@iie.org.  Helene Mantell and Brenton Harper, who will oversee and manage the fund, will be in touch with you shortly with additional information and to request your assistance to advise them on conferences that are particularly significant in the disciplines prioritized in your Corporation-supported programs.

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