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FUNDING  / SRAS CHALLENGE GRANTS
22.08.2017


 
This Program is Available in:
  Moscow
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  Bishkek
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SRAS Challenge Grants
8 Challenges, 8 Rewards!

SRAS offers a range of funding opportunities through Challenge Grants. Students who can meet the challenge are rewarded with grant funding. SRAS Challenge Grants can be combined to boost your award as far as you think you can take it.

1. Braver Bloggers
Award: $120 - $500
Challenge: Write short essays while abroad

Braver Bloggers live active, culturally-conscious lives while studying abroad. Students will write essays for Students Abroad on any of the range of topics that site covers. These include: cultural experiences and travel, meeting locals, planning budgets, navigating daily life, and maintaining and challenging one's identity while abroad.

Braver Bloggers Details

Eligibility: Any student applying for or participating in a standard SRAS study abroad program may apply for this grant.

The Grant: A minimum of 4 entries must be completed and a maximum of 15 entries may be made for any given session (summer, fall, or spring). Each eligible entry should be about one page long and is awarded a $30 stipend, with an additional $50 paid upon publication of the 15th entry. Thus, $500 may be awarded for 15 entries during any one session to any one student.

Apply:

  1. Apply for an SRAS study abroad program, choosing "Challenge Grant" as secondary program option. Indicate in the comments area that you are applying as a Braver Blogger.
  2. Describe, in at least one paragraph, why you want to study abroad and why study abroad will be important to your professional, personal, or academic plans.
  3. Write a review of your favorite local interest group, church, museum, historical attraction, or public place to stroll or spend time. Make sure to mention, wherever applicable: price, service, ambiance, food, and any cultural aspects of the experience. Bonus points if this is somewhere where you can learn about your locality or meet locals. This review should be .5 - 1 pages long.
  4. Upload the two pieces of writing (from steps two and three above), your resume, and one research paper 7 to 35 pages long from a college-level class to the Application Materials section of your login page.

 

2. Braver Researchers
Award: $180 - $500
Challenge: Research and write short articles while abroad

Braver Researchers dive deeper into their local cultures and societies, researching and writing short, informative articles on current events (for Geohistory.today), on museums, art, cityscapes, and historical preservation (for MuseumStudiesAbroad.org), or on Eurasian popular culture (for PopKult.org).

Braver Researchers Details

Eligibility: Any student applying for or participating in a standard SRAS study abroad program may apply for this grant.

The Grant: A minimum of 4 entries must be completed and a maximum of 10 entries may be made for any given session (summer, fall, or spring). Each eligible entry should be one to two pages long and is awarded a $45 stipend, with an additional $50 paid upon publication of the 10th entry. Thus, $500 may be awarded for 10 entries during any one session to any one student.

Apply:

  1. Apply for an SRAS study abroad program, choosing "Challenge Grant" as secondary program option. Indicate in the comments area that you are applying as a Braver Researcher.
  2. Describe, in at least one paragraph, why you want to study abroad and why study abroad will be important to your professional, personal, or academic plans.
  3. Write a review of your favorite local interest group, church, museum, historical attraction, or public place to stroll or spend time. Make sure to mention, wherever applicable: price, service, ambiance, food, and any cultural aspects of the experience. Bonus points if this is somewhere where you can learn about your locality or meet locals. This review should be .5 - 1 pages long.
  4. Upload the two pieces of writing (from steps two and three above), your resume, and one research paper 7 to 35 pages long from a college-level class to the Application Materials section of your login page.

 

3. Braver Service
Award: $180 - $750
Challenge: Serve an internship or complete a service project

Students who serve an NGO internship or complete an approved service project while abroad earn 50% more as Braver Bloggers and Braver Researchers.

Braver Service Details

Eligibility: Any student applying for or participating in an NGO internship with SRAS, or combining an approved service (volunteer) project with a standard SRAS study abroad program may apply for this grant.

The Grant: Students must complete chose a Braver Blogger or Braver Researcher track and complete the requirements for those awards. Awards are increased by 50%. Thus, $750 may be awarded for completing either grant.

Apply:

  1. Apply for an SRAS study abroad program, choosing "Challenge Grant" as secondary program option. Indicate in the comments area that you are applying as a Braver Researcher.
  2. Describe, in at least one paragraph, why you want to study abroad and why study abroad will be important to your professional, personal, or academic plans.
  3. Write a review of your favorite local interest group, church, museum, historical attraction, or public place to stroll or spend time. Make sure to mention, wherever applicable: price, service, ambiance, food, and any cultural aspects of the experience. Bonus points if this is somewhere where you can learn about your locality or meet locals. This review should be .5 - 1 pages long.
  4. Upload the two pieces of writing (from steps two and three above), your resume, and one research paper 7 to 35 pages long from a college-level class to the Application Materials section of your login page.

 

4. Explorer
Award: $1500 - 3500
Challenge: Spend multiple academic sessions abroad

See as much of Eurasia as possible and be rewarded! 

Explorer I Details: Spring+Summer

Eligibility: Any student applying for a spring SRAS program in Russia, Ukraine, or Kyrgyzstan, with one of the following summer programs: Security and Society Summer School in Warsaw or Georgian Foodways (either is immediately following) is eligible.

The Grant: Students will receive a $1500 credit to the summer semester after completing the spring semester.

Apply:

  1. Simply apply for two qualifying SRAS study abroad programs. You'll be automatically qualified for the award. 

Explorer II Details: Academic Year

Eligibility: Any student applying for two SRAS programs in two different locations is eligible. Only one of the locations may be Moscow or St. Petersburg.

The Grant: Students will receive a $2000 credit to their second semester after completing the first semester. A $500 bonus is added to the award if the two programs will bring the student to at least three different countries.

Apply:

  1. Simply apply for the two SRAS study abroad programs in two different locations. You'll be automatically qualified for the award. 

Explorer III Details: Full Year Abroad

Eligibility: Any student applying for two SRAS programs in two different semester locations with one of the following summer programs: Security and Society Summer School in Warsaw or Georgian Foodways (either is immediately following) is eligible. Only one of the semester locations may be Moscow or St. Petersburg.

The Grant: Students will receive a $2500 credit to final session after the completing the first two. A $1000 bonus is added to the award if the combined programs will bring the student to at least four different countries.

Apply:

  1. Simply apply for SRAS study abroad programs that will make you eligible. You'll be automatically qualified for the award.

 

5. Research Abroad
Award: $1000
Challenge: Complete a major research project abroad

For upperclassmen, graduate, and post-graduate students looking to combine their time abroad with serious research.

Research Abroad Details

Eligibility: Upperclassmen (juniors and seniors), graduate and postgraduate students in any field of study may apply. The applicant must have a GPA of 3.2 or above and must be enrolled in an academic program based in North America or the European Union when applying. The applicant must also apply for an SRAS educational program of at least six weeks in length.

The Grant: Research Abroad Grants are $1000 each. Grants are good for up to one year after they are awarded and may be applied as partial payment of the required SRAS educational program and any optional research services requested. 

Grant recipients must submit: a mid-semester research evaluation describing what has been accomplished, what problems have been encountered, and what the recipient is doing to overcome those issues. This report may be in the form of an informal email. Also, the research must conclude in a research paper not less than 15 pages in length which explores the topics proposed by the student in his/her research proposal. This paper should be submitted to SRAS no less than 45 days after the end of the research abroad period. This paper may be published on of SRAS' sites: Geohistory.today; MuseumStudiesAbroad.org; or PopKult.org.

Apply:

Apply for an SRAS program of at least 6-weeks in length and include "Challenge Grant" as one of your secondary programs. Indicate in the comments area that you are applying for "Research Abroad."

Then, load the following to the "application materials" section of the site:  

  1. A completed Grant Application.
  2. A copy of your research proposal (details within the Grant Application);
  3. A curriculum vitae (listing professional and academic experience);
  4. Two writing samples of more than 15 pages (preferably related either topically or geographically to your research).

 

6. Group Discounts
Award: 5% off program costs
Challenge: Sign up to study abroad with friends!

Sign up with other students in your department or from your social network.

Group Discount Details

Eligibility: At least three students must sign up together. All students must be on the same program, in the same location, and for the same study dates.

The Grant: Students signing up as a group of three or more will each be awarded a discount of 5% off the program price. Groups of six or more will receive a bonus to the cultural program (such as a free day or overnight trip from their host location, etc.).

Apply:

  1. All students must mention to their SRAS representative that they are signing up as a group, naming the other members of the group.

 

7. Matching Scholarships
Award: up to $750
Challenge: Win a Boren, FLAS, or Gilman Scholarship!

Use your scholarship to study with us and we'll add to your award!

Matching Scholarship Details

Eligibility: The student must have already been awarded a Boren, FLAS, or Gilman Scholarship for the academic session in question.

The Grant: Actual awards vary by the specific program, location, and length of program you choose, but average awards are: $350 for any standard SRAS program lasting six weeks or longer, $500 for any program of three months or longer, and $750 for academic year programs.

Apply:

  1. Send us a scan of your acceptance letter when you apply for you SRAS program.

 

8. Honored Groups
Award: $300 - $750
Challenge: Serve

SRAS honors those who have served in the military, taught at any level, served government internships, or previously participated in SRAS programs.

Honored Groups Details

Eligibility: The student must have served in the military, completed a government internship, taught a full class (either as a state certified teacher, graduate assistant, or professor), or completed an SRAS program.

The Grant: Actual awards vary by the specific program, location, and length of program you choose, but average awards are: $300 for any standard SRAS program lasting six weeks or longer, $500 for any program of three months or longer, and $750 for academic year programs.

Apply:

  1. You'll need to send us proof of your service (like a copy of your military ID or a recommendation from your supervisor at a government internship).

 

Program F.A.Q.

What are the deadlines?
The deadline for the grant application is the same as the deadline for the corresponding academic program the student intends to apply the grant to. So, if the student is applying to an academic program with Oct 15 listed the application deadline, applications for the grant should be in by Oct 15.

What if I am not currently a student anywhere?
Not a problem. For more on eligibility issues, please see our main FAQ page.

Can I really apply for multiple awards? 
Yes. Furthermore, you can additionally apply for SRAS Access Awards (available with certain summer programs) in conjunction with SRAS Challenge Grants, if the related SRAS Access Award program will be combined with additional weeks of Russian as a Second Language or a longer full-summer or semester program. The only SRAS award that cannot be combined with another award is the award associated with Home and Abroad Scholars, a program that offers $5,000-$10,000 for a semester or academic year abroad.

The grant I'm interested in requires a paper. Do the papers need to be about specific topics?
We prefer papers on topics related to Soviet bloc countries or their successor states, the country you will be visiting, or, in the case of Braver Service applicants, the issue your volunteering or internship will address abroad. However, we will accept any examples that you consider to be outstanding examples of your writing.

What if I am not a US citizen?
Not a problem so long as you have native or near-native English skills. For more on eligibility issues, please see our main FAQ page.

Several of these options are called "Braver." Why?
These grants are dedicated in memory of Charles Braver, an educator who worked for many years to promote and practice cross-cultural teaching, learning, and geographical and intellectual exploration.

- Who Was Charles Braver? -

Charles Braver first studied with SRAS in 2000 on a summer language program at Moscow State University. He returned again in 2003, 2004, and 2005. Seemingly, Charles could not get enough of Russia – and especially the people he befriended there. He took full advantage of every day – heading out to explore as soon as classes ended. The height of his exploration of Russia was in 2005 when he undertook the great "Trans-Siberian adventure." Little did we at SRAS know that there was a reason our active and happy Charles was so focused on making the most of each day. Charles passed away in November 2006 after a long and fierce battle against melanoma. Those of us who had the privilege of interacting with Charles will always remember him as a wonderful person whose learning and passion ended too soon.

Charles Braver (seated far right) talks with a group of Old Believers in SiberiaWhen not in Russia, Charles was a master teacher for nine years in the CUNY Language Immersion Program (CLIP) at the New York City College of Technology. A brilliant educator, Charles was dedicated to teaching and learning. He created an amazing body of project-based courses in diverse content areas such as world and local history, civics, journalism, literature and cultural studies, and national and world geography, among others. Charles brought out the very best in his students through his exceptional communication skills, knowledge of the world and of linguistics, dedication to the highest standards, technological know-how, life experience, creativity, generosity, caring, humor, humility, and more. He was a consummate educator who knew the art and science of teaching, and did it all with élan.

If the world had more students with Charles' curiosity, more educators with Charles' energy and wide knowledge base, and more diplomats with Charles' tact, charisma, and open understanding, the world would be a far, far better place. This grant hopes to help provide the world with more people like Charles.

- What Friends Say about Charles -

Charles Braver (seated middle) attends a language class at MSU"Charles and I met at Moscow State University in 2000. We were both studying Russian at the university. He was living on campus for the experience, before moving in with a host family. Charles was like that, he always wanted to test and savor the experience. We ended up spending a lot of time together getting to know each [other] and Moscow. We explored Gorky Park, Tretyakov museum, the Pushkin, and discovered a small Georgian restaurant tucked away near the Park Kultury metro stop that was to become our favorite. We bartered at Izmailovsky, sat on the Kremlin steps watching the honor guards of the 'Great Patriotic War' change on the hour. We always agreed to meet on certain platforms- "you get in the last car, I'll be in the first car-we'll meet at Beloruskaya-a practice that continued though our friendship once we returned home. We spent a lot of time eating pelmeni and vareniki in Brighton Beach, buying Russian music, books and newspapers, trying to barter with and squeezing through the babushki at the international Russian food market. Charles was great with people. He would walk up to anyone on the street and start asking questions in a manner that would invite not only an answer, but quite possibly an invitation to dinner. I admired that in him-his love for people, their lives and his love for knowledge. He cared for people, reached out to them and they returned his affection."

- Rusty Brockman, fellow SRAS student

"In summer of 2005 I had the great pleasure to travel with Charles across Russia on the Trans-Siberian Railroad.

"Although the disease that would ultimately take his life had already made itself known, it was remarkable how Charles dealt with it. Other than having to make certain that we had access to a refrigerator so he could keep his interferon fresh and an occasional afternoon nap (to which I never objected) you would not have known that anything was amiss. His enthusiasm and excitement never waned.

Charles Braver (center) at a stop along the Trans-Siberian.

"Of all the qualities Charles possessed, the one that most touched me was his passion. His passion for languages, for new cultures, for people, for his students and for his family was always evident.

"Charles loved interacting with people and people loved interacting with him. This was not only true here at home but also in the middle of Siberia. When our train stopped for 10 minutes or so in some little town in the middle of nowhere Charles would disembark not only to buy fruit and cheese for the remainder of the trip but to talk to the women and men selling the food. For Charles needed not only the nourishment the food would provide but the nourishment he received in his conversations with and questioning of the ladies who baked the bread and the men who harvested the fruit. And when he made contact with them -in that moment- I believe they got the inkling that this lanky American who spoke excellent Russian was a very special person. A very special person and a very special friend."

- Ted Bajo, Personal Friend

"I first met Charles at Lomonosov Moscow State University while I was working there for the International Students' Office. Since then we became friends sharing our ideas on a great variety of subjects including the one-dimension-ness of some people and the main features of the "Russian soul," which very few foreigners can identify. Charles was the one who could! He loved Russia and its people, spent much time learning and traveling there, and always wanted to meet new people to learn more.

"Charles' attitude towards life in general and Russia in particular struck me the most when he decided to take the Trans-Siberian railroad journey after being diagnosed with cancer. Very few people, I believe, would not give up in a situation like this. I must admit that he set an example for me."

- Natalia Rostova, SRAS Consultant

 



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