“VIRTUAL VISITOR” GRANTS TO SUPPORT UKRAINIAN SCHOLARS
Background & Context
With rare exceptions, Ukrainian males 18-60 currently are not allowed to leave Ukraine, and many Ukrainians in general are remaining in-country or nearby. Accordingly, the traditional “scholars-at-risk” approach, which provides visiting fellowships or professorships at US universities for scholars and their families who face persecution in their home countries, is a model that is misaligned with current Ukrainian circumstances.
“Virtual Visitor” Grants
To help support Ukrainian scholars without requiring relocation to the United States, Northwestern will be offering short-term non-resident grants. These grants will build off of the Buffett Institute’s existing international virtual visitors program.
An NU faculty member will need to serve as a host for each Ukrainian scholar. All NU faculty members, regardless of academic discipline or specialization, are eligible to host.
Recipients of the grant will be expected to participate in a “virtual visit” to NU. This virtual visit could consist of giving a guest lecture to a class; presenting on current research, policy work, or civic activities; or holding virtual meetings with faculty and students. This is not an exhaustive list.
Creativity in defining the activities of the virtual visit is welcomed, but bear in mind the constraints and circumstances that many Ukrainian scholars currently are facing. The goal of these grants is to create an experience that strengthens ties between the NU community and Ukrainian scholars but does not place unreasonable burdens on grant recipients during this difficult time.
In some instances, Buffett might also ask some of grant recipients to participate in virtual events targeted at broader audiences in addition to their initial virtual visit.
How to Serve as a Faculty Host
1. If you’re interested in serving as a faculty host, please email Jordan Gans-Morse, faculty director of the NU Russian, Eurasian, and East European Studies (REEES) program, at email@example.com and cc Neonila Glukhodid (NeonilaGlukhodid2025@u.northwestern.edu) and Anastasiia Simferovska (AnastasiiaSimferovska2023@u.northwestern.edu), REEES-affiliated grad students who will be helping administer this program.
2. In your email, include your name, title, department or program, and a short paragraph about the types of activities you would like to engage in with a Ukrainian scholar during the virtual visit. Please also attach your CV and/or provide a link to your website. REEES will then work with the Ukrainian Global University (UGU) to identify Ukrainian scholars in need who would be a good match for these activities and for your specific department, program, and academic discipline.
Note: In general, UGU will propose only applicants who are proficient in English. However, if the faculty host has the language capacity to host the virtual visit in Ukrainian or Russian, either by translating for the grant recipient or by arranging activities for which all participants are proficient in the chosen language, then make this clear in your email and UGU will take this into account when identifying a pool of applicants.
3. REEES will then share info received from UGU about one or more possible matches. If you approve, you as the NU faculty host will need to fill out a short application form via the Buffett Institute’s website. The time commitment for this is minimal.
4. Once the Buffett Institute confirms that the grant will be awarded, it will be up to you as the faculty host to then arrange the details of the virtual visit. Buffett will transfer the funds to the Ukrainian recipient of the grant.
5. After the visit, the NU faculty host will be expected to submit a short summary of the activities conducted during the virtual visit to the Buffett Institute.
How much support do the grants provide?
The existing grants are set up at 2,000 USD. However, for scholars facing exceptional circumstances (e.g., a scholar with dependent children currently living as a refugee outside of Ukraine), grants of 5,000 USD will be available.
Who is eligible to receive a grant?
The term “scholar” should be understood broadly with respect to potential grant recipients. Ukrainian writers, artists, and musicians most likely would be eligible, especially if affiliated with a Ukrainian university. If you have questions about who might be eligible, contact Jordan Gans-Morse at firstname.lastname@example.org.
If I have a specific Ukrainian scholar in mind, can I propose a grant for a particular person?
Yes, if the scholar meets the eligibility requirements noted above. If you have someone in mind, make this clear in your initial email.
Can grants be received over the summer?
Because the grants require a “virtual visit,” other than in rare circumstances (e.g., a faculty member teaching a summer course), they require the university to be in session.
Can graduate students serve as hosts?
The grants as currently designed only allow for faculty hosts. However, graduate students with an interest in hosting a virtual visit are encouraged to work with a faculty mentor who can formally serve as the host.
Another Resource to Consider: Buffett’s International Classroom Partnering Grant
For NU faculty looking to find other ways to support Ukrainian scholars and/or increase interaction between Ukrainian colleagues and the NU community, the Buffett Institute’s international classroom partnering grant may also be of interest. This grant provides up to 3,000 USD to encourage shared cross-cultural educational experiences. For more information, please contact Jordan Gans-Morse at email@example.com or Kim Rapp, Assistant Vice President for International Relations at firstname.lastname@example.org.