SFF Program Application Materials Details

(download complete document as PDF)

The application materials include the following:

  1. Application forms and supporting documents
  2. Project narrative
  3. Personal essays
  4. Letter of support from the Chief Academic Officer
  5. Project budget

Below are explanations and instructions on the application materials.

I. Application Forms and Supporting Documents

Required forms for each participant include participant information form, participant waiver; supporting documents include resume for students and curriculum vitae for faculty mentors.

These must all be submitted by a faculty mentor for all the participants electronically on this website. Relevant information and documents should be collected ahead of time prior to completing the online application.

Participant Waiver (download and have it signed by each participant)

II. Project Narrative

All SFF 2019 projects are expected to be team projects rather than individual projects, although individual team member may play different roles. The project narrative should be jointly written by the students in collaboration with the faculty mentor(s).

The project narrative should be 5-7 pages (single spaced) and it should include the following ten sections:

1. Project title, institution name, name and position/class of each participant

2. Project abstract

The abstract should be 250-300 words. It should be a narrative on how the proposed project addresses each of the first four SFF Core Ideas. If your proposal is selected for funding, this abstract will be published at the ASIANetwork website when the grant recipients are announced.

3. Current Issue

The proposed project should focus on a current issue with global ramifications or one that is more unique to Asia. Examples of such issues are public health, migrant labor, green industry, organic food, aging, urbanization, disaster management, etc. The proposal should describe the project issue, discuss the relevant literature on the issue, and articulate how the project will provide opportunities for the students to gain practical knowledge of the issue in an Asian context. We expect that the team will study the issue prior to departure for Asia and will apply and adjust that knowledge throughout their on-site experience in Asia.

4. Interaction/Collaboration

The proposed project should provide substantial opportunities for interaction and/or collaboration between student fellows and their Asian partners (organizations, groups, or individuals). The proposal should identify their Asian partners, including the contact person(s), if possible, and articulate the planned interaction / collaboration activities. The purpose of this interaction / collaboration is to provide opportunities for student fellows to gain a real world understanding of today’s Asia by engaging with a local community and people in Asia. Such an experience will also help the students on their future careers, especially careers related to Asia.

SFF projects must meet all of the five Core Ideas. For instance, it is acceptable for a team to participate in a project set up by their Asian partners, but that work experience should not solely be an internship focused on professional or career experiences. The experience must also contribute substantially to the understanding of a current issue in an Asian context. Similarly, SFF projects can be scientific field-research projects, but such projects must involve substantial interaction and collaboration with the local community or local scientific community.

5. Skill development

The proposal should describe the opportunities for practical and professional skill development during and after the summer field trip. Skill development may include critical thinking and analytic reasoning, written and oral communication, teamwork in diverse settings, complex problem solving, cross-cultural communication, etc. We expect teams to plan for skill development activities in the year following the field trip and encourage them to take advantage of the resources available at their institution in planning and executing these activities.

6. Career preparation

SFF projects should focus on professional and career preparation as a significant part of the student fellow experience. In particular, in the year following the SFF project, faculty mentors should help students apply and document their learning in ways that contribute to their professional development and generate future career opportunities. Many ASIANetwork member institutions have begun to integrate opportunities that help students prepare themselves professionally; for example, digital resumes, e-portfolios, course presentations, collaborative projects, academic publications, conference presentations, technological enhancements of their work, and the integration of their work into major capstone projects. We encourage teams to take advantage of the resources available at their institution in conducting professional and career preparation activities.

7. End product

The project end product can take many forms, such as a project report, a scholarly paper, an oral presentation, a blog, a documentary, etc., or a combination of several things. It can be a collaborative product by the entire team, a collection of individual work by team members, or a combination of both team work and individual work. We encourage teams to use digital technologies in their reports.

8. Plans for sharing

It is expected that the team share their SFF project experience with their campus community and possibly other academic and non-academic communities. The team also will present its project and participate in a roundtable discussion at the 2020 ASIANetwork annual conference.

9. Project timeline

The timeline should include the work projected to be done prior, during, and after the on-site trip to Asia. As part of the pre- trip work, we expect the teams to include explicitly their plans for IRB approval if the project includes research involving human subjects.

10. Project Feasibility

This should be a self-assessment of the feasibility of completing the project as proposed within the proposed timeline. Please also describe any preliminary or preparatory work already completed.

III. Personal Essays

Student Personal Essay
A narrative (750-1000 words) explaining:

  • Your understanding of the project and your role in the project, including your role in developing the project proposal
  • Your background, interest in Asia, and professional goals
  • What you expect to gain from the project regarding your understanding of contemporary Asia and your professional skill development and career preparation.
  • Please include the following at the end of your essay: your current academic program (major and minor), expected graduate date, Asian language competencies (if any), and the specific courses you have taken or are taking that are relevant to the proposed project.

Faculty Personal Essay
(When a project involves two faculty mentors, each must submit a personal essay)

A narrative (1000-1200 words) explaining:

  • Your background, teaching responsibilities, research interests, experience in Asia and in target country, and experience in supervising short term off-campus student study experience
  • Your role and the students’ role in the development of this proposal
  • Your perspectives on the feasibility and significance of the proposed project
  • Your role in the mentoring process, prior, during, and after the summer on-site experience.

IV. Letter of support from the institution’s Chief Academic Officer

This letter must EXPLICITLY state the following:

  1. Grant money will be administered by the institution without administrative fee.
  2. A faculty mentor’s attendance at one ASIANetwork conference will be financially supported.
  3. The institution assumes full responsibility for making provision for the project team’s welfare and releases ASIANetwork of any liability arising out of activities undertaken in connection with the grant.

The letter should also include a statement verifying the expected employment status in 2019-2020 of any part-time or visiting faculty member(s) included in the application.

V. Project Budget (to be completed by a faculty mentor)

A sample budget is provided below. The $5,000/person allocation is for the team’s on-site expenses in Asia and attendance at the 2020 ASIANetwork annual conference. Mentor stipend should not be included in the project budget.

Allowable expenses include:

  1. Visas, vaccinations, insurance, etc.
  2. Transportation and communication expenses (airline ticket, taxis, fax, phone calls, Internet access)
  3. Lodging and food
  4. Supplies and expendable materials (non-prescription medications, medical supplies, etc.)
  5. Services: wages for translators/guides/resource persons, etc.
  6. Miscellaneous expenses: porter tips, food for others, etc.
  7. Attendance at the spring 2020 ASIANetwork Conference by one faculty member and one student.

Exclusions: Charitable contributions and donations to agencies and/or resource persons are not permitted. Students may not be enrolled for college credit during their travel on the Student-Faculty Fellows Program. No part of the fellowship award may be used to pay tuition. Grant funds may not be used for the purchase of alcoholic beverages.

Sample Budget

(Faculty mentor and three students)


Per person Total (4 persons)
Pre-Departure Expenses
Visa and vaccinations 200 800
International Student ID card 25 100
Phone, fax, postage, etc. 30 120
RT Airfare Tampa-Xi’an 1800 7200
Major in-county transport (rail/LD bus/air) 400 1600
Hired car/taxi and local transport 1000
Other in-country costs
Lodging (22 nights at $50/night/room with

1 shared room: $1100 x 3)

Meals (22 days at $20/day) 440 1760
Translators and guides 1000
Incidental expenses (entrance fees, tips etc.) 100 400
Internet access 20.00 80
Cell phone rental for the group 150
Attendance at ASIANetwork conference (faculty member and one student) 1800


  • Budgets should reflect the specifics of the on-site trip. The above categories may vary.
  • Expenses for no more than one faculty mentor and one student to attend the ASIANetwork Conference following the summer research may be included in the budget.

VI. Application submission (to be submitted online by a faculty mentor)

Please fill out the application form online at the ASIANetwork SFF website.

Please gather all other application materials from all members of the team and compile the materials into five documents as follows with the stated names:

  • School name project narrative and budget
  • School name institutional support letter
  • School name essays
  • School name resumes
  • School name waivers

And, upload these five documents when asked to do so in the online application process.