Junior Faculty Development Program
The Afghan Junior Faculty Development Program (AJFDP) Cycle 2014-2015 is now closed.
To find out about the program for professors and lecturers that is currently under review, please read below. This will help prepare you to apply next year. Information about next year’s program (2015-2016) will be updated soon.
The U.S. Embassy is pleased to announce the 2014 Afghan Junior Faculty Development Program (AJFDP) for citizens of Afghanistan to participate in a two-month professional development program in the United States.
Applicants must be citizens of Afghanistan currently employed full-time as a “junior” faculty member at a university. Junior faculty generally refers to individuals with only a Bachelor’s degree and/or limited experience as a lecturer at an Afghan public or private university.
All program costs will be included in the scholarship, including lodging, meals, supplemental health and accident benefits, a book and materials allowance, and travel costs to program location.
May 1, 2013 by 11:59 p.m. Kabul time for academic fellowships to be held January - March 2014. Late applications will not be accepted.
How to Apply
Applicants must contact the Public Affairs Section of the U.S. Embassy via KabulPDExchanges@state.gov or KabulEducationUSA@state.gov to get the application and recommendation forms for the program. Then complete all sections of the application form and submit it with three letters of reference. Application and letters of reference must be emailed to KabulPDExchanges@state.gov before the deadline.
The Afghan Junior Faculty Development Program provides intensive professional training at a U.S. university for up to twenty junior faculty members currently teaching at public and private Afghan universities. The program aims to enhance and broaden the professional skill sets of junior faculty in various fields of study. Alumni of this program will be well positioned to increase the academic quality in their courses, departments, faculties, and universities. Participants will also have the opportunity to develop language and professional skills while they are in the U.S. The program will take place from January to March 2014, with exact dates to be determined.
The two month program includes the following:
- Participation in an initial orientation and an eight-week academic program at a U.S. university host campus, including a one-week intensive English seminar;
- Attendance at a professional conference; and
- Participation in a multi-day professional seminar in Washington, D.C. taught by experienced CIES staff.
Activities and seminars during the program will focus on theoretical and practical topics such as teaching methodology, pedagogy, resources, and technology. Topics will include the following:
- Overview of US Higher Education Structure and Administration
- Intensive English for Practical Usage and Introduction to U.S. Culture
- Teaching Methodology and Pedagogy, including Curriculum and Syllabus Development
- Leadership in Education
- Integrating Practical Application of Course Material
- Assessment Strategies
- Research Methodology and Building Research Capacity
- Technology - IT as a Pedagogical Tool
- Academic Support Structures
Participants will be recruited through a merit-based, open competition and chosen by an American-led team. Selections are based upon participants’ leadership potential, record of public service (volunteer experience/community involvement), academic excellence, maturity, ability to adjust successfully to academic life in the U.S., strong interest in engaging Americans, and potential to promote mutual understanding between the United States and Afghanistan. Successful candidates should be poised to assume leadership positions in their fields and must demonstrate a commitment to returning and serving Afghanistan.
Applicants should have a sufficient level of English to enable them to successfully engage in the classroom environment in the U.S. Many successful applicants earn a score of 550 or higher on the TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language). English language instruction will be provided during the program to strengthen academic vocabulary and skills across all modalities – listening, speaking, reading and writing. Please note that applicants are judged according to their complete application (essays, exam scores, work and volunteer experience, teaching experience, interview, references, etc.).
Strong preference will be given to applicants who have not had extensive recent experience in the U.S. Applicants currently living outside Afghanistan and U.S. citizens are ineligible for the program. Female applicants and colleagues from outside of Kabul are strongly encouraged to apply.
Successful candidates should be poised to assume leadership positions in their fields and must demonstrate a commitment to returning to and serving Afghanistan.
The Afghan Junior Faculty Development Program fellowship is provided for the recipient only; dependents cannot be supported and Maharam are not allowed. Dependents and family members of Afghan Junior Faculty Program participants are not permitted to accompany participants to the U.S. All Afghan participants must return to Afghanistan immediately following their program.
Program Completion Requirements
All grantees are required to return to Afghanistan at the conclusion of their program to implement projects and ideas developed while in the U.S. Grantees are eligible to apply for Fulbright scholarships through the normal selection process after completing the Junior Faculty program.
How to Apply
Step 1: Check eligibility requirements for submitting an application.
The Afghan Junior Faculty Development Program is open to Afghan citizens living in Afghanistan, who have:
- A full-time junior level faculty member position (generally refers to individuals with only a Bachelor’s degree and/or limited experience as a lecturer at an Afghan public or private university);
- An undergraduate (first university/bachelors) degree and a strong academic background, as demonstrated by their post-secondary transcripts;
- Demonstrated interest in and intent to continue teaching at the university level in Afghanistan;
- Demonstrated leadership qualities and achievements (through professional work and volunteer experience) ;
- Three letters of recommendation from their professors and/or employers – Ask for them now! See strengthening your letters of recommendation
- The Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) is not required to apply. If you have a valid exam score, please submit it. You will be required to take the institutional TOEFL offered by the Embassy (date to be confirmed) during later stages of the selection process. Start studying now! See preparing for the iTOEFL;
- Limited or no prior experience in the United States.
Email KabulPDExchanges@state.gov, to request an application and with any questions you have about completing the application.
Step 2: Review application instructions and guidelines
- Read and follow the specific instructions in the application form
- All materials must be submitted in English. If an academic transcript is not in English, include an accurate, certified translation in English.
- Avoid using all capital letters on the application form or other documents. For example, for name and address, use an upper case letter for the first letter in a word and lower case letters for the rest of the word, as in Name: Ronald Smith.
- Limit each response to no more than the text space or page limit indicated for application questions and attachments.
- Proofread the entire application before submitting it. The application should be free of grammatical and spelling errors.
- Often specific instructions for completing a question or item are provided in the application itself. Please read all instructions carefully. In addition, please review the following important information.
- Item 1—Name: It is very important that you list your name exactly as
it appears (or will appear) on your passport. Please use upper and lower
case when entering in your name, e.g. Ron Smith. Avoid using all capital
letters or using all lower case letters. If passport lists “son of” or
“daughter of”, please omit names after the “s/o” or “d/o”.
- Item 11— Future Plans: This description should include your professional objectives over the next five years and how you hope this program will help you achieve those objectives. This section is an essential component of your application. You should take great care to write a clear, detailed description of the program that you wish to pursue. If there are specific goals that you hope to accomplish, please describe.
- Item 19 — TOFEL Exam: Tests of English Language proficiency – TOEFL scores are not required, but preferred. If you have a score, please submit it.
- Letters of Reference – are required and must be completed on the required form. Contact KabulPDExchanges@state.gov or KabulEducationUSA@state.gov to get the required form
Step 3: Complete and submit the application
Your application is not considered complete until the U.S. Embassy in Kabul receives all of your supporting documentation, including letters of reference.
Please submit your application and supporting documentation including the following documents, (a) through (d), together by email attachment to Arif Mujaddedi at KabulPDExchanges@state.gov.
(a) Application form
(b) Project statement-professional objective statement and personal statement
(c) Detailed curriculum vitae
(d) TOEFL score (if possible)
(e) Academic transcripts (and English translation, if not in English)
(f) Three Letters of Reference should be submitted directly by the recommender (professors and/or employers who know you well) to KabulPDExchanges@state.gov prior to the deadline. All applicants must contact KabulPDExchanges@state.gov or KabulEducationUSA@state.gov to get the Letter of Reference and send it to their recommenders as early as possible.
Step 4: The U.S. Embassy will review the applications and inform the most qualified and competitive applicants by email that they are registered for a free English test called the institutional TOEFL.
Step 5: After we receive the institutional TOEFL scores, the U.S. Embassy will contact the most competitive applicants for a personal interview.
Step 6: We will make the final decisions on the selected candidates and notify all applicants of the decisions by the beginning of August. We aim to select twenty total participants for this year’s program.
*Please note that the visa process is completely separate from the application process. Once program participants have been placed by Washington and the Council for International Exchange of Scholars (CIES), participants can schedule their interviews. The visa process is separate from the application procedures and cannot be influenced by U.S. Embassy Public Affairs representatives. Upon successful interviews and administrative processing, when the participant receives their visa, travel arrangements can be made.
Tips for Success
Please review our “Tips” for success, located on the right side of this page. The Focus on Your Essays section has been particularly useful for previous applicants. There is guidance on preparing for the interview, preparing for the iTOEFL or TOEFL tests, and strengthening your letters of recommendation.
The Project Statements
The project statement is the most important component of the application. Scholars with the most compelling, well-written proposals are generally recommended for grants. Sometimes those with outstanding professional achievements assume that a brief, general project statement will be sufficient. It is not. Please submit a detailed project statement of three to five single-spaced pages. No more than five pages may be submitted for a project statement.
- Begin the project statement with your name and program. At the top of each subsequent page, type your name.
- Organize your proposal in order of the following points, and use them as headings for sections of text in your statement.
The personal statement is a narrative statement in which you can include information about your education, practical experience, special interests, career plans, and your purpose in applying for study. Please be certain to answer the following questions in this section:
- What is your vision of university level education?
- How have you begun to work toward this vision?
- How do you plan to work toward this vision in the future?
- What do you hope to learn about American society and culture?
- What aspects of your own culture, history, etc. do you wish to share with American faculty and others in the community where you will be living?
- How will participation in the program benefit not only you, but also others (students, department, and administrators) at your university?
Professional Objective Statement
This description should include your professional objectives over the next five years and how you hope this program will help you achieve those objectives. This section is essential to your application. You should take great care to write a clear and detailed description of the program you intend to pursue. Please be certain to answer the following questions in this section:
- How do you plan to implement what you learn through participation in the program upon your return to your home country?
- Which elements of faculty development and/or academic capacity building do you hope to concentrate on during your grant (e.g. curriculum development, assessment, educational leadership, educational administration, academic governance, use of technology in the classroom, new methods/research tools in your field, etc.)?
If you can’t find the answer here, please email KabulPDExchanges@state.gov.