Program Details

The American Center for Mongolian Studies (ACMS), with funding support from the US State Department Educational and Cultural Affairs Bureau and the Council of American Overseas Research Centers, invites applications for the eight year for the ACMS Field Research Fellowship Program.

The program will provide awards of up to $4,000 to approximately 4-8 students, post-docs, or faculty to conduct short-term student, post-doctoral, or faculty field research in Mongolia between May and October, 2020. Applicants must be US citizens currently enrolled full-time (students) or employed at least part-time (post-docs and faculty) at a university or college. Students who have just graduated are eligible for the program. Undergraduate applicants must have at least third year standing in their program, while graduate applicants can be at a masters, pre-dissertation, or doctoral candidacy level. Post-doctoral scholars and faculty must regularly teach at least one course at a US university or college to be eligible. The program priority for post-doctoral scholars and faculty is to support individuals from non-research intensive universities and colleges, especially those who are helping guide student research projects or who can show how the fellowship experience will enhance their teaching and outreach.

Joint applications submitted by a student and post-doctoral scholar or faculty member are highly encouraged. Joint applicants must submit individual applications, but the applications will be evaluated both individually and jointly during the review process. Joint applications are not required, and individual applications are welcome.

The field research project should be conducted in conjunction with a Research Sponsor, such as a faculty member or senior researcher, and involve at least 6 weeks for students or 3 weeks for post-docs or faculty of fieldwork in Mongolia. Preference is given to projects in which the Research Sponsor will work directly with the researcher in the field in Mongolia.

Research Sponsors should have relevant experience in supporting academic field research, and agree to host the fellow’s research project. Field research projects should last a minimum of 3 weeks, and be conducted in Mongolia between May and October.

In their applications, post-doctoral applicants are asked to describe how their participation in the project will support their teaching, outreach, and career goals, and how their project supports the development of US-Mongolian cooperation. Applicants are required to include a letter of support from their Research Sponsors.

Student Application Requirements

Student research work for the ACMS Field Research Fellowship Program must be conducted under the supervision of a Research Sponsor. In past years, Research Sponsors were required to be on site in Mongolia during a substantial part of the student’s research program. Well designed research projects that demonstrate close collaboration between the student and Research Sponsor will be considered, even if the Research Sponsor is unable to travel to Mongolia. Preference will be given to projects where the Research Sponsor will be in the field for a substantial part of the student’s research work, and therefore students are highly encouraged to submit joint applications with post-doctoral scholars or faculty members that can act as Research Sponsors.

Research Sponsors should have previous experience conducting academic field research, and agree to work closely with the student in the design, implementation and final write up of the research project. Field research projects should last a minimum of 6 weeks, and be conducted in Mongolia between May and October.

In their applications, students are asked to describe how their participation in the project will support their educational and career goals, and how their project supports the development of US-Mongolian cooperation. Applicants are required to include a letter of support from their Research Sponsors responsible for overseeing the students’ research programs.

Post-Doctoral and Faculty Application Requirements

Post-Doctoral and faculty applicants must have an identified Mongolian institution or individual who will serve as their Research Sponsor in Mongolia. Applicants without formal contacts in Mongolia can contact the ACMS at info@mongoliacenter.org to inquire about assistance in finding an appropriate Research Sponsor.

Research Sponsors should have relevant experience in supporting academic field research, and agree to host the fellow’s research project. Field research projects should last a minimum of 3 weeks, and be conducted in Mongolia between May and October.

In their applications, post-doctoral applicants are asked to describe how their participation in the project will support their teaching, outreach, and career goals, and how their project supports the development of US-Mongolian cooperation. Applicants are required to include a letter of support from their Research Sponsors.

Award Amounts

The program will provide up to $4,000 per individual award (allowable expenses include domestic and international airfare, in country transportation, and up to $1,000 per month for a research stipend unless otherwise agreed upon; a detailed budget is required) or up to $8,000 per joint award. Applicants are encouraged to apply for funding from other sources in addition to the US-Mongolia Field Research Fellowship program to support their work. Demonstrations of other applications or receipt of other sources of support will be viewed favorably by the review committee, and Field Research fellowships may be used to supplement other funding awards. The goal of the program is to assist as many researchers as possible to participate in a field research experience in Mongolia.

Additional Information

In conjunction with a fellow’s Researcher Sponsor, the ACMS offices in the US and Ulaanbaatar are available to assist the scholars chosen for the program to prepare for their research in Mongolia by providing pre-departure information on Mongolia, assisting with logistics such as travel arrangements to and from Mongolia and within the country, and helping to locate research materials and local contacts. The Research Sponsors for each project are responsible for overseeing the scholars’ living arrangements (if applicable) and research program during their time in Mongolia.

All participants are required to submit a final report on their field experience that reflects on both their research program, and how the experience might impact their academic or career development. Poster presentations are organized at the Association of Asian Studies annual meeting to allow participants an opportunity to report on their research experience, and recipients are encouraged to participate if possible.

Selection Process

Research projects in any field, including humanities, sciences and social sciences are eligible. Prior experience conducting research in Mongolia is not a requirement for applicants or students’ Research Sponsors. Final selection is made by a selection committee comprising members of the academic and professional communities in Ulaanbaatar utilizing uniform evaluation criteria. The application is due February 15, 2020 and selection announcements will be made by the end of March.

The ACMS is committed to equitable access and participation without regard to gender, race, national origin, color, disability or age. Due to the requirements of the funding organization, participants must be citizens of the United States. The ACMS will work with all applicants to overcome barriers, however applicants with disabilities should be aware that disability accommodations in Mongolia may be limited. Applicants need to be aware that there may be limited to no access to regular medical treatment in Mongolia, and applicant’s health status should permit travel to and within Mongolia in order to be eligible for this program.