AmericanCouncilsResearchFellowships major grants for independent, overseas research and language training

Title VIII Combined Research and Language Training Program


Award Components Application Requirements
American Councils Support How to Apply
Selection Process and Notification  

Funded by the U.S. Department of State’s Program for Research and Training on Eastern Europe and the Independent States of the Former Soviet Union (Title VIII), the American Councils Combined Research and Language Training (CRLT) Program serves graduate students and scholars who, in addition to support for research in the independent states of the former Soviet Union, require supplemental language instruction. The synergistic nature of the research and language training aspects of the Combined Research and Language Training Program promises both more productive research and efficient language acquisition.

Applicants must conduct research and language study for a minimum of three months in the field to a maximum of nine months in the field. Participants must have attained at least an intermediate level of language proficiency to apply. 

Programs are available in*:

Albania Estonia Lithuania Russia
Armenia Georgia Macedonia Serbia
Azerbaijan Kazakhstan Moldova Tajikistan
Bosnia and Herzegovina Kosovo Montenegro Ukraine
Bulgaria Kyrgyzstan Poland  
Croatia Latvia Romania  

*Combined Research and Language Training applicants may only apply for research in a total of two countries, maximum.

Award Components:

The total value of Title VIII CRLT fellowships, administered by American Councils, ranges from $7,000 to $25,000. Typical awards include:

  • International airfare from the scholar's home city to his/her host-city overseas
  • Academic affiliation at a leading local university or educational institution
  • Up to ten academic hours per week of advanced language instruction in Russian, the host-country language, or a combination of the two at a leading university. Classes are often conducted as private tutorials, focusing on each participant's individual needs and interests
  • Visa(s) arranged by American Councils in direct collaboration with academic host institutions in order to facilitate archive access and guarantee timely visa registration, if necessary for the country of research
  • A monthly housing stipend
  • A monthly living stipend
  • Health insurance of up to $100,000 per accident or illness
  • Ongoing logistical support from American Councils offices throughout the region, including an in-country orientation and 24-hour emergency aid

Application Requirements:
Scholars in the social sciences and humanities who have attained at least an intermediate level of proficiency in Russian or their proposed host-country language are eligible to apply to the program. Typically, CRLT applicants are graduate students at relatively early stages of their dissertation research. However, participants may be at more advanced stages in their careers, and applications from established scholars seeking to develop their proficiency in new languages are welcome.

While a wide-range of topics receive support each year, all funded research must contribute to a body of knowledge enabling the U.S. to better understand the region and formulate effective policies within it. All applicants should clearly describe the policy-relevance of their work, be it in anthropology, history, international relations, political science, or some other field.

Applicants must submit:

  • A completed online application form
  • Research proposal (3 to 5 pages) and bibliography 
  • Research synopsis in host-country language (700 words)
  • Policy-relevance essay (1 to 2 pages)
  • Archive list and/or questionnaire for interviews or surveys
  • Curriculum vitae or resume
  • Photocopy of the inside page of your passport, clearly showing photograph, passport number, and expiration date
  • Two letters of recommendation
  • Official Transcripts (of all college- and university-level coursework from the past five years, including all summer programs)

The letters of recommendation can be from colleagues, professors, or other qualified persons who are familiar with the applicant's work. At least one letter of recommendation must directly address the applicant’s language skills and ability to conduct research in the host country. For more application instructions, please see the relevant section in the current application.

Applicants must be U.S. citizens. The competition for funding is open and merit-based. All applications will receive consideration without regard to any factor such as race, color, religion, sex, age, sexual orientation, gender identity and expression,  national origin, martial status, family responsibilities, veteran status, political affiliation, or disability.

Selection Process and Notification:
All applications are reviewed by outside readers with expertise in the applicant's specific research field and region. Written comments from these evaluators, along with all application materials, are then reviewed by a final, independent selection committee of leading U.S. scholars. Criteria used to evaluate applications include (but are not limited to):

  • Relevance of research to U.S. policy makers
  • Potential of proposed research to provide new insights into the region and/or discipline
  • Project focus and degree to which timelines for completion of research are realistic
  • Sufficiency of applicant's training and background, including knowledge of existing literature
  • Degree of scholarly need for access to resources overseas
  • Sufficiency of applicant's language skills to carry out the proposed work (as demonstrated by the applicant's research synopsis and at least one letter of reference).

Fellowship awards are announced roughly twelve weeks after the application deadline. If you are selected as an alternate, notification of final funding results could take longer than twelve weeks.

American Councils Support for Scholars:
With permanent representative offices in 28 countries across Southeast Europe, Eurasia, the Middle East, Asia and the United States, employing more than 370 expatriates and host-country nationals, American Councils is uniquely suited to support U.S. scholars in the former Soviet Union. American Councils enjoys close partnership affiliations with many Eurasian institutes for research and higher education. More than 7,000 students, scholars, and researchers have participated in American Councils programs overseas since 1976.

American Councils is dedicated to helping scholars maximize their research time in-country by providing effective logistical support to fellows both before they leave the U.S. and while they are abroad. Before their departure, Title VIII fellows receive a comprehensive regional handbook providing detailed information on such topics as health and safety, travel, and communications.  American Councils’ Washington D.C. staff consult regularly with scholars to plan convenient travel, obtain appropriate visas, arrange academic affiliations, finalize housing, and provide stipend payments. Overseas staff conduct in-country orientations, obtain otnoshenie for archives, and arrange visa registration. Local staff also provide on-call emergency assistance. Title VIII fellows regularly report that American Councils support enabled them to concentrate all of their energy on research and study, making their time overseas uniquely productive and enjoyable.

Apply Now

AnchorQuestions? Please contact the Title VIII Program Officer with any questions at or by phone at (202) 833-7522.