Bringing the United States and Vietnam Closer Together through Educational Exchange

Announcement: VEF Visiting Scholar Program 2008 - 2009 (Based on our enabling legislation and the impending closure of VEF in 2018, VEF is no longer offering any Fellowships or Grants)

print version Print version


The Vietnam Education Foundation is pleased to announce the VEF Visiting Scholar Program (VSP) for Vietnamese nationals who already hold a doctorate in a field of science, technology, engineering, or math-referred to as the STEM disciplines. The VSP is intended for support of professional development training, which may include studies, research, and/or observational activities, to take place in cooperation with a leading U.S. academic institution. The Visiting Scholar will undertake a program of up to one year in length, which may include formal courses, workshops, seminars, laboratory or field research, or other types of professional development activities. Upon returning to Vietnam , the Visiting Scholar must use the knowledge and skills acquired in the U.S. to train others. In this way, the VEF VSP is a training-of-trainers (TOT) program.  

APPLICATIONS for Academic Year 2008-2009

For the 2008-09 academic year, beginning in the fall of 2008 and continuing through the summer of 2009, VEF will fund 10 Visiting Scholars for periods of time ranging from 5 months to one year (12 months).

Applications will be available ONLY online at ( online application ) and ONLY from 8:00 a.m., December 15, 2007, to 8:00 a.m., February 12, 2008 ( Vietnam time zone).

In cooperation with VEF, the U.S. National Academies will review Visiting Scholar applications in March 2008 and will recommend a group of final candidates as VSP nominees. The VEF Board of Directors will approve the final list of Visiting Scholars in early April and VEF will notify all applicants of their status by April 15, 2008.

All Visiting Scholars are expected to participate in the VEF Pre-Departure Orientation, to be held in June 2008, in Vietnam . Depending on the dates of their program in the U.S., Visiting Scholars are also expected to participate in the VEF Annual Conference to be held in the U.S. in early January 2009.


VEF has an open, competitive, and transparent application and selection process. The final candidates are selected based on their academic and professional merit, on the quality of their proposed professional development program and the expected outcomes, and on the potential of their future contributions to Vietnam.

Applicants to the VSP must meet the following Eligibility Requirements:

  • Be a Vietnamese national.
  • Hold a Ph.D. degree in a STEM discipline.
  • Demonstrate a high level of English proficiency.

The following Selection Criteria will be used to evaluate applicants for the VSP:

  • Evidence of superior academic achievement as a scholar in Vietnam.
  • Quality of the professional development plan
  • Evidenced by a written professional development plan which 1) describes in detail the activities that the applicant will undertake in the U.S. , and 2) how this professional development experience will contribute to the advancement of their career in Vietnam.

  • Commitment to return to Vietnam to contribute to the educational and scientific development of the country
  • Demonstrated by a written training plan that describes how the Visiting Scholar applicant will further disseminate the knowledge, skills, and abilities acquired in the U.S. to other Vietnamese scholars.

  • Support from the U.S. host institution

    Demonstrated by a written statement of support from the proposed U.S. host university, department, and/or faculty member that is demonstrably considered among the best in the field or specialty area.

  • Support from the applicant's home institution
  • Demonstrated in a written document by the candidate's institution/organization in Vietnam or by the Vietnamese institution(s) hosting the training sessions, to train others in Vietnam with the knowledge gained by the Visiting Scholar in the U.S.

  • Likelihood of continuing collaboration with the U.S. host institution
While the VSP is open to all who may be eligible, preference in the selection of Visiting Scholars will be given to faculty members and/or teaching staff of a Vietnamese university, research institute, or other academic institution in Vietnam.


VEF provides the following financial support for the Visiting Scholar:

  1. Cost of visa application, if any.
  2. A pre-departure health check and any vaccinations required by the U.S. host institution.
  3. Costs related to the VEF Pre-Departure Orientation.
  4. A Settling-In Allowance of $500.
  5. A round-trip economy air ticket from Vietnam to the U.S. academic institution.
  6. $2300 stipend per month to cover reasonable living expenses (lodging, meals, local transportation, incidentals, etc.) and to cover any required health/medical insurance in the U.S. The stipend is pro-rated for any partial month. Any required federal, state, or local income taxes are withheld from this amount, as is the usual procedure for anyone receiving a stipend in the U.S. Taxes are withheld at a rate of 30%. All Visiting Scholars are required to file U.S. tax returns.
  7. A one-time payment for professional development expenses, such as, books, subscriptions, memberships, and equipment. The amount depends on the length of the program in the U.S. : (1) $1500 for programs less than 6 months; or (2) $3000 for programs 6 - 12 months in duration.
  8. Approved expenses (i.e., airfare, hotel, and meals) related to the VEF Annual Fellows and Scholars Conference, to be held in January 2009 in the U.S.
  9. $2500 for expenses to attend a professional conference in the U.S. related to the Visiting Scholar's field and/or professional endeavors.
  10. $2500 for expenses related to a professional development training program that is separate from the U.S. host university or research institute. The proposed program must be reviewed by the VEF Program Officer to assure that it is allowable as part of one's immigration status before final approval can be given by VEF for the Visiting Scholar to participate.  


  1. VEF is the J-1 visa sponsor for the Visiting Scholar and any dependents.
  2. VEF will determine which J-1 visa category (Research Scholar, Short-term Scholar, or Non-degree Student) will be appropriate based on the activities of the planned program.
  3. The VEF offices in the U.S. and in Vietnam provide ongoing information and assistance.
  4. The Visiting Scholar becomes a part of the wide network of VEF Fellows, prior to, during, and after the VSP.  


As part of the application, the VSP applicant must provide the following:

  1. A clear and concise description of the project, program, research, and/or the study plan to be undertaken as a Visiting Scholar. Include the objectives, timeline, and expected outcomes and how completion of this plan will contribute to your career advancement in Vietnam . Also include plans for any continued collaboration with the U.S. host institution ( limit 4 pages ).
  2. A clear and concise description of a training plan that describes how the knowledge, skills and abilities that you will acquire in the U.S. will be communicated to others in Vietnam.
  3. A written commitment from the most appropriate U.S. university or institute, department, and/or faculty member(s) who will serve as your host if you are selected as a Visiting Scholar. It is recommended to secure acceptance by one or more institutions that are considered the best in the applicant's particular field of interest so that the VS has a choice of several options to present to VEF. The written commitment must include the following details:
    1. Dates that the Visiting Scholar will be hosted: expected start and end dates;
    2. The role of the host institution, department, and/or faculty member(s), including which arrangements for the Visiting Scholar will be handled by the host and which must be managed by the Visiting Scholar;
    3. Expectations of the host entity regarding the role of, and involvement of, the Visiting Scholar;
    4. The expected outcomes of the Visiting Scholar's proposed program;
    5. Support from the host institution for the Visiting Scholar, which may possibly include:
        i. Financial support, if any;
        ii. Furnished office or desk space;
        iii. Use of phone for U.S. and international phone calls;
        iv. Use of a personal computer (laptop or desktop);
        v. Use of other equipment, including fax;
        vi. Use of laboratory space and equipment and any limitations;
        vii. Use of libraries and other institutional facilities, including any health centers; and
        viii. Institutional identification card; and

    6. Any other information that clarifies the arrangements between the host institution and the Visiting Scholar.
  4. A written commitment from the candidate's home institution/organization in Vietnam to support the candidacy of the applicant for the VEF VSP and a commitment by the candidate's home institution/organization and/or by other Vietnamese institutions to support training sessions to train others in Vietnam with the knowledge, skills and abilities gained in the U.S.
  5. Details for any professional conferences, professional training programs, or other optional activities, in the U.S. that the applicant wishes to attend.
    1. Because the Visiting Scholar is primarily in the U.S. for the program at the host institution, conferences and training programs should not exceed ONE WEEK in length.
    2. Include a written acknowledgement from the host institution, approving attendance at these activities WITHIN THE TIMEFRAME OF THE OVERALL PROGRAM AT THE HOST INSTITUTION. In other words, the Visiting Scholar must attend these activities during the timeframe that the U.S. institution has agreed to host the Visiting Scholar.
    3. Include the location, title, professional sponsoring entity, purpose, dates, and URL for each optional activity. Confirm that the conference grant of $2500 and/or the professional development training program grant of $2500 will sufficiently cover expenses.
    4. If the applicant wishes to identify a conference and a training program at a later date, the hosting institution must approve these activities, which will need to take place during the timeframe that the Visiting Scholar is hosted by the U.S. institution.


At the Pre-Departure Orientation, VEF reviews in detail the responsibilities of the Visiting Scholar. Responsibilities include the following:

  1. Immediately upon selection as a Visiting Scholar, secure written permission from one's present employer to participate in the VSP for the duration of the proposed project.
  2. Arrange for temporary housing in the U.S. Typically, the U.S. academic institution has services to help Visiting Scholars find appropriate temporary housing, furnished and unfurnished.
  3. Pay any required federal and state U.S. taxes on monies received from VEF or from other sources while in the U.S.
  4. Pay for any costs related to dependents that accompany or visit the Visiting Scholar while in the U.S.
  5. Maintain and pay for all required medical, health, and repatriation insurance while in the U.S.
  6. Abide by all procedures and regulations established by VEF, by the U.S. hosting institution, by U.S. immigration authorities, and by all applicable laws.

If you have any questions regarding the VEF Visiting Scholar Program 2008-2009, please e-mail, or phone 04 936 3670.

Click here for the Announcement in Vietnamese.