WE STILL ACCEPT APPLICATIONS FOR THE 2022 ASEF JUNIOR FELLOWSHIPS. SUBMIT YOUR APPLICATION BY DECEMBER 6, 2021.

About ASEF Junior Fellows Program

The American Slovenian Education Foundation (ASEF) Junior Fellows program is a three-year program. The purpose of the fellowship program is to strengthen research and study exchange between Slovenia and other countries to give talented Slovenian students the ability to realize their potential to the fullest.

In the program, students do a 10-week research visit at a university or a research institution in the area of their field of study/expertise.Additionally, Junior Fellows engage in activities organized by ASEF, including the tutorial program, research projects and collaborations with other Fellows, leadership, and career development workshops, and attend regular public lectures and other events organized by ASEF. Further, Junior Fellows are expected to contribute to ASEF and serve the Slovenian community under the guidance and mentorship of ASEF.

In the first year…

Junior Fellows will work with Slovenian professors at the world’s top
universities on a research project and interact with other members of the professor’s research group as well as other students at the university. At the same time, the student will also interact with the Slovenians and Slovenian communities abroad. Junior Fellows will also regularly attend the tutorial program and all events (lectures, workshops, etc.) organized by ASEF.

ASEF Junior Fellows build lasting relationships between ASEF and academic institutions in the U.S., Canada, U.K., Austria, Denmark, Australia, and New Zealand. During the three-year time, Junior Fellows become full members of ASEF Society of Fellows >
“The ASEF fellowship has opened doors for new opportunities in my academic career: I returned to Stanford as a postdoctoral researcher in Computer Science, and eventually it led me to a position at Harvard University with the prospect of becoming a professor.”
Dr. Marinka Žitnik, ASEF fellow in 2014
“The ASEF exchange gave me an insight into the work of research institutions abroad and enough experience to continue my postgraduate studies at Oxford University.”
Vid Kocijan, ASEF fellow in 2016
Candidate
ASEF Junior Fellow
10-week Research Visit
Work with ASEF Professor
1st year
ASEF Activities
All 3 years
ASEF Alumni
In the second and third year…

Junior Fellows will attend all events organized by ASEF, serve the Slovenian community, participate in ASEF promotional activities, help advertise ASEF Fellowship programs, and act as peer mentors to incoming fellows by helping them learn about the culture of their host country and institution. Junior Fellows are highly encouraged to engage in activities, including research projects and collaborations with other Junior Fellows, professors, and research groups in the ASEF network, leadership and career development workshops, communication training, and coaching.

Furthermore, Fellows are encouraged to continue their research work with their host professor and form collaborations with other Junior Fellows. Additional funds will be available to Fellows to cover the expenses of such collaborations, such as presenting research at
international conferences.

Eligibility

Applications are open to full-time students in good standing at an accredited institution of higher education. Applications are open to Slovenian students as well as other students of Slovenian heritage (for example, living in Italy, Austria, Argentina, USA, Canada, Australia, …).
A typical applicant is a senior undergraduate, masters, or PhD student.

Costs

The ASEF Junior Fellows program provides fellows with comprehensive support, allowing them to focus on their research at the world’s top universities. ASEF will work with the Junior Fellow to obtain funding so that all expenses of research visit (airfare, food, lodging, etc.) in the first year will be covered.

Participating Institutions

The list of professors and research groups that are members of the ASEF network can be accessed here (click here for details on research areas). Each of the professors has open positions to accept one or two students into their research group. We strongly encourage applicants to read about professors and study their research and publications.

Selection Criteria

Applicants are selected based on exceptional ability, originality, and resourcefulness, and should be of the highest caliber of intellectual achievement. Applicants will perform an interview with previous and current ASEF Fellows, and ASEF Professors will review the research plan, mission statement, and recommendation letters presented in each application. Finally, ASEF Scientific Advisory Committee will also give weight to the many intangibles involved, including interpretation of the Foundation’s objectives. Applicants will perform an interview with previous and current ASEF Fellows, and ASEF Professors will review the research plan, mission statement, and recommendation letters presented in each application. Those selected receive three-year fellowships.

How to Apply
Aplication should include:
Application form (filled during the online submission of application)
Curriculum Vitae with a focus on your research
Transcripts of your courses
Research Statement
Research Statement (no longer than 2 pages)
The Research Statement is your chance to personalize your application. When composing the Statement it is important to address the impact that your visit will have on your academic, professional, and personal goals. You should also address the impact that receiving ASEF Junior Fellowship would have on your achievement of these goals. Some key points to keep in mind are:
Motivation: Why do you wish to do research abroad, and what factors led you to this decision? What do you hope to gain from, and what do you anticipate will be the impact of your experience abroad? What initially inspired you to do research in this particular area/research group?
Previous work/research experience: List and describe your project/research work for courses, participation in research projects, lab work at your department, your independent research, relevant summer internship experience, etc. The goal here is that you describe your experience that makes you the best possible candidate for the professor’s research lab that will allow you to have a fruitful and productive research visit.
General project/area you would like to work on: A general proposal for a project or an idea for your thesis/dissertation that you want to work on during your visit and how it relates to the research of the professor you are applying to. Describe the project or the idea and argue why you find it interesting. Include a list of scientific references related to your field of research.
Mission Statement
Mission Statement (1 page)
TThe mission statement should give a brief summary of your current and proposed contributions to the ASEF Society of Fellows. Those contributions should be aligned with ASEF’s core values, which are academic excellence, character formation, and dedication service (see FAQ for details). We encourage you to mention any past or current engagements in activities that contribute to the growth of society and foster progress in business, politics, and nonprofits (e.g., volunteering in non-profit organizations, participating in outreach activities, leading academic/engineering clubs or student organizations, organizing summer schools for talented young people and tutoring for children). Examples of your future (planned) contributions to ASEF as a Junior Fellow can be:
Organizing events together with ASEF, such as public lectures, art exhibitions, music events, literary events, tutorials, and round-table discussions about topics related to society, science, research, and technology.
Leading a reading group in ASEF focusing on the area of your field of study/research.
The mission statement should give a brief summary of your current and proposed contributions to the ASEF Society of Fellows. Those contributions should be aligned with ASEF’s core values, which are academic excellence, character formation, and dedication service (see FAQ for details).
Community service can also involve fundraising events and crowdfunding for causes aligned with ASEF’s mission and core values.
Two reference letters
Reference letter
The letters should clearly describe the applicant’s contribution to the research projects that they participated in. The letters should be written by the supervisors/advisors/teachers of past research projects, summer internships, or diploma/MSc thesis. Letters of reference should be submitted by the reference letter writer at the reference submission.
If you have questions about the program or the application process, please contact ASEF at info@asef.net

ASEF Junior Fellows – Research Abroad: How to prepare a successful application?

A recording of the workshop for successful application for the ASEF Junior Fellows – Research Abroad, organized by ASEF, in which you can learn more details about the program, the selection process and get valuable tips that are good to follow for successful application.
Workshop is in Slovenian language.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the important dates?

Call for applications opens in fall 2021. The first closing date is November 22, 2021. Applications received by November 22, 2021, will be reviewed immediately after the closing date. Beyond that date, applications will be considered on a rolling basis until December 22, 2021. Final decisions will be made by January 22, 2022.

When will the research visit take place?

The exact time of the research visit is flexible and will be discussed with the particular research group and the professor. Generally, most visits tend to take place during the summer (June to September) with some exceptions. Importantly, visits must end in calendar year 2022.

What if I will not be able to go abroad for the 10-week research visit on the agreed date due to COVID-19 travel restrictions?

In case of complications, ASEF will work with Junior Fellows individually to try to make the 10-week research visit possible.

How will the expenses of the research visit be covered?

ASEF will work with Junior Fellows to identify funding sources to help cover all expenses of the research visit: airfare, housing, and living expenses. Whenever possible, students will stay with a Slovenian family and then work with the professor at a university.

What are the Junior Fellow’s responsibilities and obligations to ASEF?

Junior Fellows are appointed to the ASEF Society of Fellows for three years. During that time they are expected to regularly attend the tutorial, public lectures, and other events organized by ASEF. Further, fellows participate in ASEF promotional activities, help advertise ASEF Fellowship programs, and act as peer mentors to incoming fellows by helping them learn about the culture of their host country. Junior Fellows are highly encouraged to engage in activities, including research projects and collaborations with other Junior Fellows, professors and research groups in the ASEF network, leadership and career development workshops, communication training, and coaching.

Are Slovenian students who study abroad full-time or will participate in an Erasmus+ exchange eligible to apply?

Yes, also Slovenian students studying abroad are eligible to apply. Participation in the Erasmus+ exchange program or other programs of study visits or internships abroad does not affect eligibility for the ASEF Junior Fellows program. ASEF will work with Junior Fellows individually to find a solution if they will not be able to attend all the events organized by ASEF because of staying abroad.

Are full-time employed students (e.g. PhD students with the status of young researchers) eligible to apply?

Yes, also employed students are eligible to apply.

Do students need health insurance?

Students need health insurance. In some cases, your host/professor/university will provide health insurance, or in other cases, you will be responsible for it. Please check with your ASEF professor.

What are the core values of ASEF?

The core values of ASEF are academic excellence, character formation, and dedicated service. ASEF is committed to these core values, which guide us in carrying out our mission and realizing our vision.

What is ASEF Society of Fellows?

Please read this document to learn more about ASEF Society of Fellows, its program and activities, and a statement of ideals for new members of the Society.