Professional Development Fellowship Program 2009

Proposals due no later than May 8, 2009


The Department has just announced the availability of the 2009 Professional Development Fellowship Program for Foreign Service Eligible Family Members and Members of Household. Note that this year, unlike the previous years, applications for
start-up business costs will not be considered according to the announcement.


The FLO Professional Development Fellowship program is open to spouses and member of household partners of direct hire US Government employees under Chief of Mission Authority. This program is designed to assist those Eligible Family Member (EFM) spouses and member of household (MOH) unmarried partners who are not in a position to pursue their career paths overseas to maintain, enhance, and/or develop their professional skills.

Fellowships of up to $2,000 will be granted on a reimbursable basis for enrichment activities. Selected applicants must fund 25% of the cost of the proposed activities while the Fellowship stipend will cover the additional 75% of the cost up to the $2,000 maximum. Activities can include, but are not limited to, continuing education, distance learning, professional development, participation in professional conferences, and dues for membership in professional organizations.

Family members should note the program changes as outlined in paragraph 2.


PROGRAM CHANGES

Previously this program was made possible through the generosity of the Una Chapman Cox Foundation. Historically, the Foundation funds pilot programs for up to three years, after which time they rely on the success of the program to justify and generate institutional funding. Such is the case with the 2009 fellowships for which FLO has obtained appropriated funds. As a result, in order to comply with federal regulations, reimbursement for start-up business costs will not be considered.


ELIGIBILITY

Applicants must be the spouse or member of household partner of a direct-hire US Government employee who is available for an overseas posting. Overseas this includes EFM spouses and MOH partners of a direct-hire US Government employee or uniformed military service member under Chief of Mission authority. While eligible applicants residing in the US may apply, preference will be given to those eligible applicants currently posted or assigned overseas (see Selection Criteria, paragraph 7). Previous fellowship awardees who meet the eligibility requirements may apply again.


APPLICATION PROCEDURES

Applicants should submit a completed application form, which can be found here (pdf). Applications must contain a one-to-two sentence synopsis followed by a detailed description of the proposed professional development program of activities. The program should be directly related to the applicant’s professional interests and the proposal must explain how the activities will enhance the applicant’s skills or future employment potential. As noted above, proposals may include a wide-range of activities. Proposals should provide a detailed breakdown of the expenses involved and give an indication of how the stipend would be used. Applications should be limited to two (2) pages (see application form).

All applications received will be acknowledged by email within three business days of receipt. Unacknowledged applications will not be considered.


REIMBURSED COSTS

Applicants should be aware that, if selected, the Fellowship will reimburse 75% of the proposed cost up to $2000 and the applicant will be responsible for 25% of the proposed cost. Travel, transportation, lodging costs, per diem are not reimbursable under this program.


SELECTION COMMITTEE

Proposals will be reviewed by a selection committee chaired by the Family Liaison Office (FLO) and will include representatives from the geographic bureaus.


SELECTION CRITERIA

In selecting grantees, the Selection Committee will consider the following factors:

a. Unavailability of employment options in the applicant’s profession at her/his current post of assignment.

b. Correlation between the proposed activity and professional development of the applicant.

c. Where applicable, a connection between the proposed activity and other effort(s) on the part of the applicant to maintain/refresh her/his professional skills (i.e. if the proposal is part of a larger professional development plan).

Proposals from applicants residing at Historically Difficult to Staff (HDS) posts will receive preference as will proposals from posts where no Bilateral Work Agreement or de facto work arrangement is in place.

The link to the bilateral and de facto list follows is below:
http://www.state.gov/m/dghr/flo/c24338.htm

Here is the list of HDS posts:

HISTORICALLY DIFFICULT TO STAFF (HDS) POSTS

EAP Posts
Bandar Seri Begawan, Dili, Guangzhou, Kolonia, Majuro, Naha, Port Moresby, Seoul, Shenyang

EUR Posts
Banja Luka, Chisinau, Minsk, Podgorica, Pristina, Vladivostok, Yekaterinburg, Yerevan

AF Posts
Abidjan, Abuja, Asmara, Bamako, Bangui, Banjul, Brazzaville, Bujumbura, Conakry, Cotonou, Djibouti City, Douala, Freetown, Khartoum, Kigali, Kinshasa, Lagos, Libreville, Lilongwe, Lome, Luanda, Malabo, Monrovia, Ndjamena, Niamey, Nouakchott, Ouagadougou, Praia, Yaounde

WHA Posts
Cuidad Juarez, Georgetown, Hermosillo, Kingston, Nogales, Paramaribo, Port Au Prince

NEA Posts
Amman, Baghdad, Jeddah, Jerusalem, Riyadh, Sanaa

SCA Posts
Ashgabat, Astana, Dhaka, Dushanbe, Islamabad, Kabul, Kolkata, Lahore,


PROJECT COMPLETION

Successful applicants will be expected to complete their proposed professional development program within 12 months of selection notification. Fellowship recipients will be required to submit a Project Report describing program activities and accomplishments as well as a Financial Report providing a detailed budget of the project. Those selected can submit receipts for qualifying expenses incurred at any time during the activity but not later than thirty days after project completion. Fellowship recipients are required to commence and complete the activity during the Fellowship program year, i.e., August 2009-August 2010. There will be no extensions and no exceptions to this requirement.


APPLICATION DEADLINE

Proposals are due in M/DGHR/FLO no later than May 8, 2009.

Proposals can be submitted as follows:

  • faxed to M/DGHR/FLO Attn: FLO Fellowship at (202) 647-1670
  • emailed to FLOAskFellowship@state.gov
  • mailed or hand carried to M/DGHR/FLO, Department of State, 2201 C ST, NW, Room 1239 HST, Washington, DC 20520

See the whole thing including examples of fellowship awards and travel expenses in the official announcement here. Good luck!!!

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Professional Development Fellowship Program 2009

Proposals due no later than May 8, 2009


The Department has just announced the availability of the 2009 Professional Development Fellowship Program for Foreign Service Eligible Family Members and Members of Household. Note that this year, unlike the previous years, applications for
start-up business costs will not be considered according to the announcement.


The FLO Professional Development Fellowship program is open to spouses and member of household partners of direct hire US Government employees under Chief of Mission Authority. This program is designed to assist those Eligible Family Member (EFM) spouses and member of household (MOH) unmarried partners who are not in a position to pursue their career paths overseas to maintain, enhance, and/or develop their professional skills.

Fellowships of up to $2,000 will be granted on a reimbursable basis for enrichment activities. Selected applicants must fund 25% of the cost of the proposed activities while the Fellowship stipend will cover the additional 75% of the cost up to the $2,000 maximum. Activities can include, but are not limited to, continuing education, distance learning, professional development, participation in professional conferences, and dues for membership in professional organizations.

Family members should note the program changes as outlined in paragraph 2.


PROGRAM CHANGES

Previously this program was made possible through the generosity of the Una Chapman Cox Foundation. Historically, the Foundation funds pilot programs for up to three years, after which time they rely on the success of the program to justify and generate institutional funding. Such is the case with the 2009 fellowships for which FLO has obtained appropriated funds. As a result, in order to comply with federal regulations, reimbursement for start-up business costs will not be considered.


ELIGIBILITY

Applicants must be the spouse or member of household partner of a direct-hire US Government employee who is available for an overseas posting. Overseas this includes EFM spouses and MOH partners of a direct-hire US Government employee or uniformed military service member under Chief of Mission authority. While eligible applicants residing in the US may apply, preference will be given to those eligible applicants currently posted or assigned overseas (see Selection Criteria, paragraph 7). Previous fellowship awardees who meet the eligibility requirements may apply again.


APPLICATION PROCEDURES

Applicants should submit a completed application form, which can be found here (pdf). Applications must contain a one-to-two sentence synopsis followed by a detailed description of the proposed professional development program of activities. The program should be directly related to the applicant’s professional interests and the proposal must explain how the activities will enhance the applicant’s skills or future employment potential. As noted above, proposals may include a wide-range of activities. Proposals should provide a detailed breakdown of the expenses involved and give an indication of how the stipend would be used. Applications should be limited to two (2) pages (see application form).

All applications received will be acknowledged by email within three business days of receipt. Unacknowledged applications will not be considered.


REIMBURSED COSTS

Applicants should be aware that, if selected, the Fellowship will reimburse 75% of the proposed cost up to $2000 and the applicant will be responsible for 25% of the proposed cost. Travel, transportation, lodging costs, per diem are not reimbursable under this program.


SELECTION COMMITTEE

Proposals will be reviewed by a selection committee chaired by the Family Liaison Office (FLO) and will include representatives from the geographic bureaus.


SELECTION CRITERIA

In selecting grantees, the Selection Committee will consider the following factors:

a. Unavailability of employment options in the applicant’s profession at her/his current post of assignment.

b. Correlation between the proposed activity and professional development of the applicant.

c. Where applicable, a connection between the proposed activity and other effort(s) on the part of the applicant to maintain/refresh her/his professional skills (i.e. if the proposal is part of a larger professional development plan).

Proposals from applicants residing at Historically Difficult to Staff (HDS) posts will receive preference as will proposals from posts where no Bilateral Work Agreement or de facto work arrangement is in place.

The link to the bilateral and de facto list follows is below:
http://www.state.gov/m/dghr/flo/c24338.htm

Here is the list of HDS posts:

HISTORICALLY DIFFICULT TO STAFF (HDS) POSTS

EAP Posts
Bandar Seri Begawan, Dili, Guangzhou, Kolonia, Majuro, Naha, Port Moresby, Seoul, Shenyang

EUR Posts
Banja Luka, Chisinau, Minsk, Podgorica, Pristina, Vladivostok, Yekaterinburg, Yerevan

AF Posts
Abidjan, Abuja, Asmara, Bamako, Bangui, Banjul, Brazzaville, Bujumbura, Conakry, Cotonou, Djibouti City, Douala, Freetown, Khartoum, Kigali, Kinshasa, Lagos, Libreville, Lilongwe, Lome, Luanda, Malabo, Monrovia, Ndjamena, Niamey, Nouakchott, Ouagadougou, Praia, Yaounde

WHA Posts
Cuidad Juarez, Georgetown, Hermosillo, Kingston, Nogales, Paramaribo, Port Au Prince

NEA Posts
Amman, Baghdad, Jeddah, Jerusalem, Riyadh, Sanaa

SCA Posts
Ashgabat, Astana, Dhaka, Dushanbe, Islamabad, Kabul, Kolkata, Lahore,


PROJECT COMPLETION

Successful applicants will be expected to complete their proposed professional development program within 12 months of selection notification. Fellowship recipients will be required to submit a Project Report describing program activities and accomplishments as well as a Financial Report providing a detailed budget of the project. Those selected can submit receipts for qualifying expenses incurred at any time during the activity but not later than thirty days after project completion. Fellowship recipients are required to commence and complete the activity during the Fellowship program year, i.e., August 2009-August 2010. There will be no extensions and no exceptions to this requirement.


APPLICATION DEADLINE

Proposals are due in M/DGHR/FLO no later than May 8, 2009.

Proposals can be submitted as follows:

  • faxed to M/DGHR/FLO Attn: FLO Fellowship at (202) 647-1670
  • emailed to FLOAskFellowship@state.gov
  • mailed or hand carried to M/DGHR/FLO, Department of State, 2201 C ST, NW, Room 1239 HST, Washington, DC 20520

See the whole thing including examples of fellowship awards and travel expenses in the official announcement here. Good luck!!!

Big Brother with Big Ears, In China

Listening Ears near Greatstone-on-Sea, Kent, Great Britain.
These are concrete listening ears built for the war.
Aeroplanes flying across the channel could be heard
by observers positioned near these “ears”.

Photo by Paul Russon
. Licensed under the Creative Commons
Attribution-Share Alike 2.0 license.

The Overseas Security Advisory Council had just released its 2009 China Crime and Safety Report. The Regional Security Office (RSO) there continues to rate the overall crime threat in China as low; that’s the good news. The bad news is if you talk about it or even about your laundry, or that one with the hot abs next door, chances are somebody is listening. And for a while there, some bloggers could not even read their own posts from China, or post comments in their own blog. I understand that the restrictions have been relaxed since around the Olympics but one can’t tell when that door closes down again. Excerpt below on privacy from the 2009 report:

All visitors should be aware that they have no reasonable expectation of privacy in public or private locations. The U.S. Mission regularly receives reports of human and technical monitoring of U.S. private businessmen and visiting U.S. citizens. The areas around U.S. and other foreign diplomatic facilities and residences are under overt physical and video surveillance – dozens of security personnel are posted outside of facilities and around residences, while video cameras are visible throughout diplomatic quarters (offices and residential neighborhoods) of Beijing. Thousands of additional video cameras were added throughout Beijing in advance of the Olympics to aid law enforcement authorities.

All hotel rooms and offices are considered to be subject to on-site or remote technical monitoring at all times. Hotel rooms, residences and offices may be accessed at any time without the occupant’s consent or knowledge. Elevators and public areas of housing compounds are also under continuous surveillance. In one instance, the management company of a residential compound informed its tenants (to include official Americans) that their apartments were subject to search.

Embassy employees are warned not to discuss classified or sensitive information in their homes, vehicles or offices. Post strongly encourages members of the private sector to take similar precautions to safeguard sensitive, personal and/or proprietary information.

All means of communication – telephones, cellular telephones, faxes, e-mail, text messages, etc., – are likely monitored. The government has access to the infrastructure operated by the limited number of Internet service providers and wireless providers operating in China. Wireless access to the Internet in major metropolitan areas is becoming more and more common. As such, the Chinese can more easily access official and personal computers.

The Chinese Government has publicly declared that they regularly monitor private e-mail and Internet browsing though cooperation with local Internet service providers. The government also employs several thousand individuals to police the Internet. Bloggers are subject to particular scrutiny in China where such activity is usually not permitted and blog sites are, as a general rule, blocked.

Sounds so — totally crappy, right? I wonder if anyone make up stories just to keep the listeners occupied. If you read all 864 pages of Anna Karenina aloud, what might the big ears do with that? Record it… translate it … pursue dead ender trails ???

Big Brother with Big Ears, In China

Listening Ears near Greatstone-on-Sea, Kent, Great Britain.
These are concrete listening ears built for the war.
Aeroplanes flying across the channel could be heard
by observers positioned near these “ears”.

Photo by Paul Russon
. Licensed under the Creative Commons
Attribution-Share Alike 2.0 license.

The Overseas Security Advisory Council had just released its 2009 China Crime and Safety Report. The Regional Security Office (RSO) there continues to rate the overall crime threat in China as low; that’s the good news. The bad news is if you talk about it or even about your laundry, or that one with the hot abs next door, chances are somebody is listening. And for a while there, some bloggers could not even read their own posts from China, or post comments in their own blog. I understand that the restrictions have been relaxed since around the Olympics but one can’t tell when that door closes down again. Excerpt below on privacy from the 2009 report:

All visitors should be aware that they have no reasonable expectation of privacy in public or private locations. The U.S. Mission regularly receives reports of human and technical monitoring of U.S. private businessmen and visiting U.S. citizens. The areas around U.S. and other foreign diplomatic facilities and residences are under overt physical and video surveillance – dozens of security personnel are posted outside of facilities and around residences, while video cameras are visible throughout diplomatic quarters (offices and residential neighborhoods) of Beijing. Thousands of additional video cameras were added throughout Beijing in advance of the Olympics to aid law enforcement authorities.

All hotel rooms and offices are considered to be subject to on-site or remote technical monitoring at all times. Hotel rooms, residences and offices may be accessed at any time without the occupant’s consent or knowledge. Elevators and public areas of housing compounds are also under continuous surveillance. In one instance, the management company of a residential compound informed its tenants (to include official Americans) that their apartments were subject to search.

Embassy employees are warned not to discuss classified or sensitive information in their homes, vehicles or offices. Post strongly encourages members of the private sector to take similar precautions to safeguard sensitive, personal and/or proprietary information.

All means of communication – telephones, cellular telephones, faxes, e-mail, text messages, etc., – are likely monitored. The government has access to the infrastructure operated by the limited number of Internet service providers and wireless providers operating in China. Wireless access to the Internet in major metropolitan areas is becoming more and more common. As such, the Chinese can more easily access official and personal computers.

The Chinese Government has publicly declared that they regularly monitor private e-mail and Internet browsing though cooperation with local Internet service providers. The government also employs several thousand individuals to police the Internet. Bloggers are subject to particular scrutiny in China where such activity is usually not permitted and blog sites are, as a general rule, blocked.

Sounds so — totally crappy, right? I wonder if anyone make up stories just to keep the listeners occupied. If you read all 864 pages of Anna Karenina aloud, what might the big ears do with that? Record it… translate it … pursue dead ender trails ???