BOLD Academic Scholarship Program 2022 – U.S. Embassy in Serbia

Deadline: April 15, 2022

The Public Diplomacy Section (PDS) of the U.S. Embassy in Belgrade announces a competition open to organizations to submit nominations for the BOLD Academic Scholarship Program.

The Bold (Balkanski omladinski lideri, Balkan Young Leaders network is a PDS project that aims to develop the leadership capacity of young Serbs by empowering them to implement positive change projects in their communities in two thematic areas: civic engagement and economic development . Anyone between the ages of 18 and 35 in Serbia can join the BOLD network where members have access to three main types of competitive opportunities:

  1. BOLD Academic Scholarships: Two in-depth leadership training experiences in the USA for 5-6 weeks, one on each BOLD theme.
  2. AUDACIOUS workshops: Two workshops, from one week to 10 days, on leadership and project management, each on one of the BOLD themes.
  3. BOLD Small Grants Competition: An annual competition, open to all BOLD members, for funds of up to $15,000 to implement projects in the areas of the BOLD themes over the course of a year.

Program objectives:

The BOLD Academic Scholarship Program includes of them fellowships will be held in the United States for 5-6 weeks each, one themed on civic engagement and one on the subject of economic development. Applicants may propose the implementation of one or the other scholarships, OR the implementation of of them scholarships. If the proposal is for a scholarship, please indicate in box “c” of the application form whether the theme will be civic engagement or economic development. Each fellowship should be both academic and practical in nature, lasting approximately 5-6 weeks, and ideally include a residency at a US academic institution with a significant experiential learning component, including the community service, in the community or in another place. Ideally, each institute should also incorporate a homestay experience as part of the curriculum.

The main outcome desired by PDS is that the scholarship recipients, individually or in groups, upon their return to Serbia, design a civic or economic project to be implemented in their communities during the year. At the end of the fellowship, they must have a complete draft of a project proposal or business plan, which will be competitive for funding from the Embassy or other donors. The academic component in the United States should include group discussions, experiential learning activities, and exercises focusing on best practices, cutting-edge research, and the most influential ideas and models relating to the theme of the scholarship . The experiential learning component should include substantive and participatory community activities related to the theme of the fellowship. Wherever possible, a specific focus on the impact of non-profit organizations and/or social enterprises should be built into the program.

Both components of each scholarship are to teach leadership skills and provide the knowledge and experience necessary for students to implement their follow-on projects in Serbia, including but not limited to team building, collective problem solving, effective communication, appreciation of diversity and management. skills. In accordance with the Executive Order on Promoting Racial Equity and Underserved Communities, proposals must demonstrate how the program advances equity in race, ethnicity, religion, income, geography, gender identity, sexual orientation and disability. The proposal must also demonstrate how the program will strengthen engagement in underserved communities and with individuals in underserved communities. Proposals must demonstrate how addressing racial equity and underserved communities will enhance program goals and objectives, as well as the participant experience.

In light of social distancing measures and to limit the spread of COVID-19, we welcome proposals that use video conferencing, distance learning tools, etc. If your proposal includes in-person activities, please consider including contingency plans, just in case the health situation requires social distancing measures to be in place during the grant period. How could you take your project from an in-person to a virtual format? If you succeed in obtaining PDS funding to launch your project, you will need to publicize your activities, in particular through social media and/or the traditional press; and highlight the U.S. Embassy’s support of your activity, with our logo included on project-related materials.

Program topics:

  • CIVIC ENGAGEMENT. This scholarship is expected to introduce participants to the concept of civic engagement in the United States as a means of improving communities and government institutions and services and provide them with the skills to implement projects as civic leaders themselves. themselves. An understanding of civic engagement and the civil society sector and its development in the United States should be accompanied by the ability to apply the American experience to the Serbian context. The academic program should define civic engagement, examine its development in the United States, and explore topics such as citizenship in democracy, community development, economic development, grassroots activism, political leadership, and volunteerism in the modern era. Proposals should demonstrate an ability to provide content on a variety of subtopics in which Fellows may already have a specific interest or to which they may be directed as a project area. Some subtopics may include, but are not limited to, civil rights and protection, public health, education, environmental conservation, ethics, leadership, or media freedom. Academic sessions should be complemented by a community experiential learning component that serves two purposes. Practical sessions or workshops designed to build skills in the topics mentioned above should help participants develop innovative and practical plans for the projects they will implement upon their return to Serbia. Additionally, to promote the idea of ​​leadership grounded in community service, participants should also be required to engage in service-learning.
  • ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT. This fellowship is expected to provide participants with insight into entrepreneurial approaches by presenting the challenges and successes of American entrepreneurial models, including social enterprises, the leadership role of business in democratic societies, and women’s economic empowerment. An understanding of the US entrepreneurial ecosystem should come with a strong focus on how to apply lessons learned in the Serbian context. Topics may include, but are not limited to, organizational development and management, basics of starting and running a small business, market research and risk analysis, innovation, planning business strategy and corporate social responsibility. Academic sessions should be complemented by a community-based experiential learning component that serves two purposes: developing skills and exposing participants to the US entrepreneurial ecosystem. Practical sessions or workshops designed to build skills in the above mentioned topics should help participants develop entrepreneurial ideas in the form of a business plan and pitch, as well as a business plan. concrete action to implement to start a business. Additionally, to promote the idea of ​​leadership rooted in community service, participants should also be required to engage in service-learning.

Attendees and audience:

Participants or main audiences for the BOLD Academic Scholarships must be Serbian undergraduate students, between the ages of 18 and 25, from all over Serbia. Each Fellowship must consist of at least 10 participants traveling to the United States.

Information session

PDS will hold a virtual information session on February 23, 2022, at 4:00 p.m. (4:00 p.m.) CET to discuss this funding opportunity and to answer questions from potential applicants. Please contact PDS at [email protected] for details.

For all information and detailed instructions on how to apply, please download and read the BOLD Academic Scholarships 2022 Funding Opportunity Notice. Please follow all instructions below carefully.. Proposals that do not meet the requirements of this announcement or fail to meet the stated requirements will be ineligible.

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