Student Mobility

ASEF Junior Fellows – Research Abroad

Publish date: 09.01.2020

asef The American Slovenian Education Foundation (ASEF) Junior Fellows program provides fellows with comprehensive support, allowing them to focus on their research at the world’s top universities. ASEF Junior Fellows build lasting relationships between ASEF and academic institutions in the U.S., Canada, U.K., Australia, and New Zealand. The purpose of the fellowship program is to strengthen research and study exchange between Slovenia and other countries with the objective of giving talented Slovenian students the ability to realize their potential to the fullest. For fullest consideration, materials should be received by December 1, 2019. Beyond that date, applications will be considered on a rolling basis until January 15, 2020.




About ASEF Junior Fellows Program

The ASEF Junior Fellows Program is a three-year program. In the program, students do a 10-week research visit at a university or a research institution in the area of their field of study/expertise. Additionally, Junior Fellows engage in activities organized by ASEF, including research projects and collaborations with other Fellows, leadership, and career development workshops, and attend regular public lectures and other events organized by ASEF. Further, Junior Fellows are expected to contribute to ASEF and give back to the community under the guidance and mentorship of ASEF.

In the first year: Junior Fellows will work with Slovenian professors at the world’s top universities on a research project and interact with other members of the professor’s research group as well as other students at the university. At the same time, the student will also interact with the Slovenians and Slovenian communities abroad.

In the second and third year: Junior Fellows engage in activities organized by ASEF. Furthermore, Fellows are encouraged to continue their research work with their host professor and form collaborations with other Junior Fellows. Additional funds will be available to Fellows to cover the expenses of such collaborations, such as presenting research at international conferences.

During the three-year time, Junior Fellows are full members of ASEF Society of Fellows (click here for details).


Applications are open to full-time students in good standing at an accredited institution of higher education. Applications are open to Slovenian students as well as other students of Slovenian heritage (for example, living in Italy, Austria, Argentina, USA, Canada, Australia, ...). A typical applicant is a senior undergraduate, masters, or PhD student.


ASEF will work with the Junior Fellow to obtain funding so that all expenses of research visit (airfare, food, lodging, etc.) in the first year will be covered.

Participating Institutions

The list of professors and research groups that are members of the ASEF network can be accessed via this link (click here for details on research areas). Each of the professors has open positions to accept one or two students into their research group. We strongly encourage applicants to read about professors and study their research and publications.

Selection Criteria

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 ASEF Professors 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. Those elected receive three-year fellowships.

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 would have on your achievement of these goals. Some key points to keep in mind are:
    • Motivation: Why do you wish to do research abroad 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 abroad? 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 and how it relates to the research of the professor you are applying to. Describe the project or the idea and argue why you find it interesting. Include a 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 or student organizations, organizing summer schools for talented young people and tutoring for children). Examples of your future (planned) contributions to ASEF as a Junior Fellow can be:
    • Organizing events together with ASEF, such as public lectures, art exhibitions, music events, literary events, tutorials, and round-table discussions about topics related to society, science, research, and technology.
    • Leading a reading group in ASEF focusing on the area of your field of study/research.
    • Acting as a peer mentor by helping incoming Junior Fellows learn about ASEF, host countries/universities, and by sharing your research experience with them.
    • Community service projects and volunteering to improve your community, strengthen and promote ASEF activities, and help different groups of people. Community service can also involve fundraising events and crowdfunding for causes aligned with ASEF mission and core values.
  • 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 candidate in the PDF format here.

Letters of reference should be submitted by the reference letter writer here.

If you have questions about the program or the application process, please contact ASEF at

For fullest consideration, materials should be received by December 1, 2019. Beyond that date, applications will be considered on a rolling basis until January 15, 2020.

More information.