Environmental and Water Resources Institute (EWRI) annually invites applications for Visiting International Fellows (VIFs). The fellowships provide support for faculty, professionals, or student researchers from developing countries to participate in the annual World Water and Environmental Resources Congresses (typically in May of each year) and in several days of supplementary activities during their visit to the United States. The objectives of the fellowship are to increase the participation of water resources and environmental professionals from developing countries in EWRI conferences, and to promote sustained professional and cultural exchange.
While attending the annual EWRI conference, each Fellow is expected to:
Each Fellow must be hosted by a United States or Canada-based EWRI/ASCE member who will be responsible for submitting the application to the VIF Committee. The host will assist in arranging 2-3 days of professional activities for the Fellow in the United States. Example activities include visiting with key agencies, consultants or researchers, working collaboratively on papers, proposals, or projects, and touring facilities or field sites relevant to the Fellow's area of interest.
Fellowships include a one-year membership in EWRI and/or the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) and registration fees for the conference. The remainder of the fellowship can be used to partially cover conference travel expenses. The stipend will not cover travel expenses for the technical and cultural activities planned outside of the conference. Matching fund grants (from corporations, government agencies, schools or individuals) are encouraged, but not required.
See an editorial about the VIF in the Journal of Water Resources Planning and Management:
Applicants must meet the following requirements to be eligible for the Fellowships:
* Candidates must also submit abstracts by September 4, 2019. Note that acceptance of the abstract to the conference does not guarantee that the applicant has been awarded a Fellowship.
** Submission of full paper is optional.
Applicants and hosts should work together to complete the fellowship application. The application must be submitted by the host (a United States or Canada-based EWRI/ASCE member) by
September 4, 2019**.
The following information must be provided as completely as possible for the application to be considered by the committee:
The application must be submitted by email by the host along with an abstract of the paper to be presented at the conference by
September 4, 2019
via the conference website
) to the VIF Committee Chair and VIF Committee Secretary.
Visiting International Fellowship Committee members will review eligible fellowship applications and notify applications of selection decisions by
, each year.
**Candidates must also submit abstracts via the
by the abstract submission deadline of September 4, 2019. Note that acceptance of the abstract to the conference does not indicate that the applicant has been awarded a fellowship.
Q. I am a citizen of Tunisia (or another developing country), but I am currently living in Japan (or another developed country). Am I eligible to apply?
A. NO. Eligible applicants are BOTH citizens of AND currently residing in a developing country. The locations of your citizenship and your current residence may be different countries, but both must be "developing" based on the
list of countries eligible for EWRI/ASCE discounted membership
(which is based on being eligible for borrowing from the World Bank). If you return to live in your home country or move to reside in another developing country, you are eligible to apply. If you are not eligible to apply, you are still encouraged to submit an abstract and present at the conference if you have the resources to attend.
Q. If I apply, will I receive a fellowship?
A. Not necessarily. The VIF is a competitive program, and not all applicants receive fellowships. We typically receive 10 to 30 applications and award 2 to 4 fellowships, depending on availability of funding.
Q. Must the application be sent via email?
Q. Who fills out the application?
A. Both the applicant and the host can answer the questions on the application.
Q. Will late applications be accepted?
A. No. Applications will be accepted as late as the due date at 11:59 PM in the country of origin.
Q. My abstract is already attached to the application. Do I still need to submit it separately in the Congress website?
A. Yes, and you may also submit a paper approximately 3 months before the Congress date (but papers are not required).
See the Congress website for deadlines
Q. My abstract was accepted to the Congress, but I was not selected for a fellowship. Do I have to attend the Congress?
A. You can attend the Congress if you wish because your abstract was accepted. If you plan not to attend, you must notify the Congress organizers.
Q. Do I have to pay the abstract submission fee?
A. Yes. If you do not have a credit card, please see if your host can help or
Q. Does the fellowship provide enough monetary funding for the whole trip?
A. No. The fellowship typically provides enough funding for the following: (1) congress registration fee; (2) one-year membership in ASCE or EWRI; and (3) hotel during the week of the congress. The registration fee and membership fee are automatically withheld from the total cash amount given to the fellow at the congress. Expenses typically NOT included are: air travel from foreign country to the U.S.; travel from congress location to host location; and expenses while visiting host.
Q. Will my host pay for expenses not covered by the fellowship?
A. Not necessarily; it depends on the host. Most hosts provide at least partial financial assistance.
Q. If the fellowship does not pay for the entire trip, then who will pay for what is not covered by the fellowship?
A. Additional sources of funding could be the fellow's employer and the fellow's host. Fellows may be able to apply for matching funds from another organization. Some fellows personally fund the remainder of their trip.
Q. As a fellow, what am I required to do during the Congress?
A. Two primary things: (1) participate in an international panel discussion and talk about water resources and environmental issues in your country; and (2) present a 15 to 20-minute talk (using PowerPoint) on the paper submitted to the congress. Additional activities expected of the fellow: (1) attend a reception where the fellow will be awarded with a plaque; (2) meet with other conference attendees and establish new professional relationships; (3) write a report on activities during the fellowship and send to the fellowship committee in June after returning from the Congress.
Q. What activities should I do with my host during the cultural and technical exchange?
A. Usually the host will arrange for the fellow to give a talk to colleagues. Most hosts arrange for tours of relevant water resources and environmental projects. Some hosts and fellows work on existing projects and plan future collaborative activities.
Q. I do not know anybody in the U.S. or Canada who can be my host. Can I still apply for the fellowship?
A. You must have a host who will email the application on your behalf. If you do not have a host, you cannot apply.
Q. I already know someone in the U.S. or Canada with whom I've worked or studied before. Can that person be my host?
A. Yes, as long as he or she is an ASCE or EWRI member located in the U.S. or Canada and is willing to serve as a host.
Q. I vaguely know someone who qualifies as a host. Can I ask that person to be my host?
A. Yes, and that person must be willing to serve as your host and submit the application on your behalf.
Q. How and when do I apply for a visa to enter the U.S. to attend the congress?
A. The fellow must look up information on the nearest U.S. consulate or embassy in his or her country and find out how and when to apply. The Visiting International Fellowship committee will mail a letter to the selected fellow around October or November.
Q. How many pieces of luggage can I check in my domestic flights within the U.S.?
A. When traveling by airplane within the U.S. (for example, when going from the Congress to your cultural and technical exchange or when taking a domestic flight between the city of entry and the city of the Congress), the airlines typically charge baggage fees for checked luggage and allow only two pieces of luggage to be checked, not to exceed 50 pounds (23 kilograms) each. Combining the two pieces into one piece exceeding 50 pounds but still below 100 pounds is not equivalent. If you do not comply with that, you may be asked to pay a surcharge of approximately $100 or more.
Q. How many pieces of luggage can I take on board with me in my domestic flights within the U.S.?
A. For domestic flights in the US, many airlines restrict passengers to one piece of carry-on luggage (not to exceed dimensions of 11 inches x 14 inches x 26 inches, or a total of 51 inches [130 cm]) plus one personal item (a purse, a briefcase, or a laptop case). These pieces must fit in the overhead compartment or under the seat in front of you.
Q. How can I make phone calls to contact my family in my country?
A. Do not make direct calls from the hotel telephone because those calls will be extremely expensive. If you have a cell phone with international call capability, you may use it. One inexpensive option may be to purchase a phone card at a drugstore and use it from your hotel phone by dialing the 1-800 number on the phone card and the printed PIN number.
Since 2001, over 35 fellowships have been awarded to water resources and environmental professionals from over 20 different countries. Below are compilations of reports prepared by past recipients of the Visiting International Fellowship.
We are seeking individuals who would be willing to participate in the Visiting International Fellowship program as hosts for Visiting International Fellows. Hosts must be members of EWRI/ASCE who are water/environmental professionals based in the United States or Canada who are willing to assist Fellows with planning and carrying out activities such as visits with key agencies, consultants, or researchers in the area of interest of the visitor. A financial commitment is not required, although assistance with housing and/or transportation expenses associated with these activities can be helpful for the Fellow.
There are two ways to participate as a host. If you already have a contact in a developing country, you may host that person for the fellowship and submit a full application on their behalf. See the Application Procedure page for more details. If you are interested in meeting international professionals and researchers in your area of interest, please contact the
VIF Committee Chair
If you are interested in being a host or would like additional information, please contact the
VIF Committee Chair
All applications should be submitted to the VIF Committee Chair and VIF Committee Secretary by email. If you are interested in being a host or would like additional information, please contact the
VIF Committee Chair.
World Environmental & Water Resources Congress and the
Watershed Management Conference
May 17-21, 2020
Advance Registration closes April 17, 2020.
International Low Impact Development Conference
July 19-22, 2020
Abstract Submission deadline: January 23, 2020.