ASEF Junior Fellows 2020
Visiting Slovenia

ASEF Junior Fellows
Visiting Slovenia

The American Slovenian Education Foundation (ASEF) Junior Fellows program provides fellows with comprehensive support, allowing them to focus on their professional development at Slovenia’s top universities, institutes, and companies. The purpose of the fellowship program is to give talented students of Slovenian heritage an opportunity to grow professionally, while also getting to experience Slovenia, its language and culture. The aim is to strengthen research and study exchange between Slovenia and other countries and help those who have an interest in Slovenian culture and want to realize their potential to the fullest.
The deadline for submitting all application materials is February 1, 2020.

About the Fellowship

The ASEF Junior Fellows Program to Slovenia is a one-year program, which enables students to do a 10-week work/research visit at a university, company, or a research institute in the area of their field of study/expertise. Additionally, during the visit, Junior Fellows engage in activities organized by ASEF Society of Fellows, including research projects and collaborations with other Fellows, participation at the events organized by ASEF, leadership, and career development workshops, and attend regular public lectures and other events organized by ASEF. Further, Junior Fellows are expected to contribute to the Society and give back to the community under the guidance and mentorship of ASEF.
During the fellowship program: Junior Fellows will work with Slovenian professors, mentors at the Slovenian’s top companies and universities on a research project and interact with other members of the professor’s research group as well as other students at the university or company. At the same time, the student will also interact with the Slovenians and Slovenian communities.
After the fellowship program: Junior Fellows are encouraged to continue their research work with their host professor or mentor and form collaborations with other Junior Fellows. Additionally, Junior Fellows to Slovenia are encouraged to spread the word about ASEF in their local Slovenian communities, universities and build long-lasting relationships with Slovenian companies.

Eligibility

Applications are open to full-time students, enrolled in an accredited higher education institution. Knowledge of the Slovenian language and of Slovenia is recommended but not necessary. A typical applicant is a full-time senior undergraduate, masters, or PhD student from the USA, Canada, Argentina or any other country.

Costs

ASEF will work with the Junior Fellow to obtain funding so that all expenses of research visit (airfare, food, lodging, etc.) will be covered. The ASEF fellowship provides funding (travel, housing, and living expenses) for a 10-week summer visit to a Slovenian university, research institution or a company in the area of applicant’s field of study/expertise. ASEF will work with the applicant to identify a suitable mentor at an appropriate institution. There is no target start date for the visit (except that the exchange has to be fully finished in the year 2020) --- the exact target date will be decided between the fellow and her/his mentor.

Selection Criteria

Applicants are selected based on exceptional ability, originality, and resourcefulness, and should be of the highest calibre of intellectual achievement. Applicants will perform an interview with prior-year’s ASEF Fellows and potential ASEF Professors and Mentors. ASEF Professors and Mentors 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. The Committee ranks the candidates and the Board of Directors then provides final approval.

Participating Institutions in Slovenia

The list of current mentors and professors can be accessed via this link. Each year we add professors and mentor of applicant’s field of expertise. This basically means, that we will find a suitable mentor for any applicant who will be chosen.The fellowship provides funding for a 10 week summer exchange to the following institutions:
  • University of Ljubljana
  • University of Maribor
  • University of Primorska
  • University of Nova Gorica
  • Institute Jožef Stefan
  • Slovenian Academy of Sciences and Arts (SAZU)
  • Institute ASEF
  • Central Bank of Slovenia
  • Karst Research Institute
  • Various companies in tech, medical, and biochemistry sectors
  • Music opportunities at various orchestra

Areas of Study, Research, and Work

  • Architecture
  • Business
  • Communications and Marketing
  • Chemistry and Biochemistry
  • Computer Science
  • Earth Sciences
  • English
  • Economics and Finance
  • Electrical Engineering
  • Karst studies
  • Linguistics and Slovenistics
  • Mathematics
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Medicine
  • Music
  • Physics
  • Political Science
  • Social Sciences, including History
  • Theology

How to Apply

Submit your online application form online.
Applications should include:
  • Application form (see the form below)
  • Curriculum Vitae with a focus on your research
  • Transcripts of your courses
  • 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 to Slovenia would have on your achievement of these goals. Some key points to keep in mind are:
    • Motivation: Why do you wish to do research in Slovenia 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 in Slovenia? What initially inspired you to want 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 and will allow you to have 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. Describe the project or the idea and argue why you find it interesting. Include list of scientific references related to your field of research.
  • Mission Statement (1 page):
    The mission statement should give a brief summary of your current and proposed contributions to ASEF Society of Fellows. Those contributions should be aligned with ASEF 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 non-profits (e.g., volunteering in non-profit organizations, participating in outreach activities, leading academic/engineering clubs). Examples of proposed contributions to the Society are:
    • Helping next-year's Junior Fellows to Slovenia through buddy program, where you educate them about the experience you had with the exchange in Slovenia and help them navigate through 10 weeks in Slovenia.
    • Organizing a public presentation of your experience in a Slovenian community near/in your hometown.
    • Organizing public presentation about ASEF Fellowships for year 2021.
  • Two reference letters:
    • The letters should clearly describe applicant’s contribution to the research projects that they participated in.
    • The letters should be written by the supervisors/advisors/teachers of past past research projects, summer internships, or diploma/MSc thesis.
All documents (except reference letters) should be submitted by the candidates in the PDF format via the application form below..

Letters of reference should be submitted by the reference letter writer at the reference submission form below.

Applications will be considered on a rolling basis until all the fellowships are awarded.
The deadline for submitting the application is February 1, 2020.
If you have questions about the program or the application process, please contact ASEF at info@asef.net

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the important dates?
Call for applications opens on November 14, 2019. Applications are due February 1, 2020. We anticipate making final decisions by March 15. 2020.
When will the 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 2020.
Do students need visas?
Slovenia is an EU Member State and a member state of the Schengen Area. Visa requirements thus depend on the student's nationality. Generally, when traveling to Slovenia no visa required for a stay of up to 3 months. More information here. However, students need to have Travel Medical Insurance.
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 or mentor at a university or company. In other cases, ASEF will help you find accommodation.
What is the review procedure?
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 prior-year’s ASEF Fellows and potential ASEF Professors and Mentors. ASEF Professors and Mentors 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. The Committee ranks the candidates and the Board of Directors then provides final approval.
What are the Fellow’s responsibilities and obligations to ASEF?
Junior Fellows to Slovenia are appointed to the ASEF Society of Fellows for one year. During that time they are expected to regularly attend all of the social events, public lectures and other events organized by ASEF. Further, fellows participate in ASEF promotional activities, help advertise ASEF Fellowship and other programs, and act as peer mentors to incoming fellows by helping them learn about the procedures of the fellowship, Slovenian people, places to visit in Slovenia, people to meet,... 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. Junior Fellows to Slovenia are encouraged to spread the word about ASEF in their local Slovenian communities, universities and build long-lasting relationships with Slovenian companies. Junior Fellows also promote ASEF on their social networks. Junior Fellows in Slovenia will present their research to a broadly diverse community.
Who were past ASEF Fellows?
Summer 2019: (Click Here For More Information)
- Alexandra Klesin (USA)
- Annika Rose Gačnik (USA)
- Robert Lunka (USA)
- Thomas Fitzsimmons (USA)
- Thomas McDonald (USA)
- Tina Rozman (USA)
- Sean Voelk (USA)
- Tatiana Marusic (Argentina)
- Rachel Krevh (USA)
- Dylan Ellis (USA)

Summer 2018: (Click Here For More Information)
- Alenka Lucesole Sinkec (Argentina)
- Maria Shepard (USA)
- Martin Hernan Di Marco (Argentina)
- Sebastian Peterlin (Denmark/USA)
- Cecilia Urbancic (Argentina)
- Matthew Fitzsimmons (USA)
- Lacey Viano (USA)
- Michaela Gacnik (USA)
About Slovenia
About Slovenia Slovenia has an excellent reputation for study in Europe. The home to multiple cultures, languages and traditions, Slovenia is a small and very safe country with a population of approximately 2 million. The capital Ljubljana is the country's largest city at approximately 300,000 inhabitants with the river Ljubljanica cutting it in the middle. For bikers and runners there are long well-tended paths on both sides of the river. Unlike many world’s cities one can feel secure walking alone at night. The experience in Slovenia will offer students the great opportunity to discover their family roots. Students can take advantage of Slovenia's central location to explore other European countries. Because it is part of the Schengen area travel to Hungary, Austria, Italy and others is simply a matter of crossing the border. No visa needed. Vienna is approximately 150 miles to the north, Budapest 200 miles to the northeast, Venice 230 miles to the southwest, and Zagreb 75 miles south. Slovenia is a mountainous country with a tradition of skiing as well as hosting World Cup skiing competitions. Finally, cost of living and studying in the Slovenia is affordable.
Where can I learn more about the visiting Slovenia and experiences from past ASEF Fellows?
Please follow this link to lean more.
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.

  • Academic Excellence: We seek an uncompromising standard of excellence in teaching, learning, creativity, and scholarship within and across disciplines.
  • Character Formation: We seek to form the whole person: men and women distinguished by intellectual rigor, moral character, community building and the ability to make ethical decisions.
  • Dedicated Service: We seek to prepare global citizens who advocate for the benefit of humanity and contribute to the intellectual, economic, religious and cultural vitality of society by serving those with the least access to power and privilege in order to promote the flourishing of all.
What is ASEF Society of Fellows?
Please read this document to learn about ASEF Society of Fellows, its program and activities, and a statement of ideals for new members of the Society.
December 19, 2018

2018 Fellow Experiences: Matthew Fitzsimmons

Trumpet Playing with Slovenia Philharmonic. “The culture has been extremely inviting, and I feel at home”
December 19, 2018

2018 Fellow Experiences: Lacey Viano

Food Science at University of Ljubljana Biotechnical Faculty. “My work at the University is helping me achieve my goals.”
December 19, 2018

2018 Fellow Experiences: Michaela Gacnik

Marketing at TRUD Travel Agency. “The streets have a unique and enchanting social scene”. I absolutely love the vibe of Ljubljana. People here know how to […]

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