Frequently asked questions
Do I need to have had prior international experiences to successfully apply to be a Science Corps Fellow?
No. Science Corps encourages applications from young scientists without prior international experience. After the 6 months fellowship, the Science Corps Fellows will return to their academic or research track having gained an expanded appreciation of global issues and improved communication skills.
What are the characteristics of a Science Corps Fellow Candidate?
Someone who wants a 6-month supplement to their scientific career to: 1) Develop a deeper world view, 2) Use their expertise to make an immediate and meaningful contribution to global science education, and 3) Improve their communication and teaching capabilities.
Are there language requirements for Science Corps Fellows?
Science Corps Fellows must speak English. We choose countries and sites where English is either an official language of the country and often the formal form of communication (business, government, and legal), or where all classes are taught in English. English, however, may remain a second language for students, and their skill levels range from highly proficient to more basic communication abilities.
What is provided to the fellow?
Science Corps will organize travel to and from the destination, room and board, a living stipend, proper visa status, travel health insurance, and additional guidance on living and working at the site.
Will I receive compensation for my work?
The Fellow will receive a stipend that allows for a comfortable lifestyle and for most local expenses not directly covered by Science Corps. The expectation is that the entire trip will be financially neutral for the Fellow.
Who can apply?
Science Corps is recruiting STEM PhD students near degree completion (defense date must be established prior to acceptance as a Fellow, and conferred well before placement) and up to four years post degree completion.
How many Science Corps fellowships will be awarded
Science Corps awarded three fellowships for 2018. The number of Fellows selected for 2019 and beyond will depend upon host site needs.
What is involved in the candidate selection process?
Applicants will be ranked by a selection panel that will include representatives from the Science Corps organization, host institutions, and selected science researchers and educators.
The candidates will be ranked based on: their scientific communication skills, their teaching experiences, their demonstrated potential to contribute original research, and an assessment of their potential to thrive in a foreign setting.
Sources of Information Used in Ranking Candidates
Professional CV, video conference interview, and references
What is expected of the fellow?
The Fellow will commit to six months of full-time employment on site. Fellows are free for weekends and any holidays given by their local institution.
What are the typical daily work activities?
Class preparation, grading, test creation and other non-classroom teaching responsibilities take up approximately a quarter of the Fellow’s time. Teaching makes up another quarter of the Fellow’s schedule. The rest of the time will be divided between development of teaching materials, and integrated research projects as the Fellow sees fit. Some Fellow activities may be led by local needs and requests and/or the interests of students and teachers.
Where will I live?
Initial housing will be provided free of charge by the regional site leadership. This will ease the Fellow’s acclimation to the destination and their teaching responsibilities. If the Fellow chooses to move out, the stipend is sufficient to provide for other local housing, and they will be responsible for choosing their next living arrangement.
What are the demographics of the student body at Science Corps’ Philippines site, CVIF?
CVIF is a private school, however an unusual dynamic of the Philippine education system is that inexpensive private schools like CVIF are often less well-funded than the public schools. They serve as an overflow for a government that struggles to provide public education for all of its youth. As such, most of the tuition for these schools is provided by the government. The remainderranges from $16-$80 per year. In a community that emphasizes education, this rate is affordable to the majority of families.
Do I need to be a US citizen or come from a US institution to apply?
No. Science Corps’ vision is to expand the perspective of recent STEM PhDs, educate, and build scientific capacity in underserved regions. This vision does not place constraints on the Fellow’s nationality and in fact we have had fellows from four different continents so far.
Is there a prior Science Corps Fellow whom I can contact?
Yes, we are happy to put you in touch with a previous Science Corps Fellow that was placed in the Philippines or India.
Why is the program restricted to recent PhDs and STEM graduate students if the intention is to provide science teachers for schools?
Science Corps is indeed focused on providing science education at schools in underserved areas of the world. However, our additional focus is to offer an opportunity for early-career PhD scientists to broaden their perspective while leveraging their expertise and giving back. Furthermore, high school students may be more likely to identify with scientists that are closer to their age. It is possible that the program may mature to include more senior PhD scientists.
Is Science Corps operating exclusively in secondary schools?
No. One of the two currently active host sites is a secondary school, but the other is an educational organization that designs and builds STEM activity boxes and training materials. We are open to partnering with host institutions providing different levels and forms of education.
What impacts will Science Corps fellows have on students beyond teaching, development of educational materials, and building science capacity?
The Fellow will likely provide students with their first extensive interactions with a scientist. This will allow students to particpate in the thought process of someone who has deeply ingrained scientific principles and is passionate about science. In addition, because the fellow is a young scientist, it is more likely that the student will identify with themand see science as an attainable goal. Science Corps aims for positive interactions that result in students that are more likely to continue down a STEM track in the future.
The Science Corps Fellow may also be the first opportunity for some students to have extensive interactions with a young professional from a different culture. The interactions of the students and Fellows are mutually eye-opening. Finally, in regions where English is a second language, exposure of students to a native English speaker is an added valuable contribution.