Fulbright Scholar Award

Media Literacy Education

Application Deadline
Thursday, September 15, 2022
Award Code
13624-AL
Activity Type
Professional Project
A Professional Project enables the participant to engage in activities in their area of expertise to enhance their professional development and the field at large. Projects may include serving as a professional consultant to the host organization, sharing expertise, visiting other organizations in their professional field, gaining practical experience, and attending public lectures. While the details vary according to the specific award, the focus of a Professional Project grant should not be research or teaching.
Teaching
Teaching includes classroom teaching, as well as giving guest lectures, workshops, and seminars, and engaging in other related activities. Classroom teaching is typically at the undergraduate and graduate level, and courses may be designed by the scholar or prescribed by the host institution and may be taught or co-taught by the scholar. The teaching load varies by award, as well as the host institution. Scholars may also consult on building research capacity, advise graduate students, and assist with thesis advising.
Degree Requirements
Ph.D. (or other terminal degree) not required
Career Profile
Early Career Academics
Awards are open to those who have been working in the capacity of a teacher or scholar for no more than seven years.
Mid-Career Academics
Awards are open to those who have been working in the capacity of a teacher or scholar for more than seven, and less than 13, years.
Professionals
Awards are open to individuals who have more than seven years of experience in a particular profession.

Number of recipients

Exactly
1
Award Start Period
October 2023
-
January 2024
Award Length
4 months
-
6 months
Flex Option
No
Country
Albania
Multi-Country/Area Award
No
Disciplines
Education
Journalism
Scholars selected for this award will be required to
Advise and/or mentor students
Assist in faculty, curriculum, and/or program development
Conduct a professional and/or artistic project

In addition to being a prestigious academic exchange program, the Fulbright Program is designed to expand and strengthen relationships between the people of the United States and citizens of other nations and to promote international understanding and cooperation. To support this mission, Fulbright Scholars may be asked to give public talks, mentor students, and otherwise engage with the host community, in addition to their primary activities‎.

Award Activity

The Scholar is expected to work with the Albanian Media Institute (AMI) a non-for profit organization that is implementing an Embassy funded project on Developing Media and Information Education in ten Albanian public and private universities. In 2023-2024 the project will focus on universities with pre-service teacher training education programs. This will provide for Learn to Discern (L2D) skills-building among students graduating to become young professionals in the Albanian education system and enable them to adopt the acquired professional knowledge and skills as part of their teaching methodology.

The scholar’s primary responsibilities are:

1.     Work with the AMI experts to develop an undergraduate-level course in Media Literacy education. The course will aim at analyzing the goals and methods of different media industries, to identify the effects that media has on people, to understand the potential benefits and negative effects of content in the media, and to identify techniques to become more informed consumers of information on an individual and societal level. Students will develop the ability to access, analyze, evaluate, and create media in a variety of forms. They will also develop critical skills that will empower them to effectively engage with traditional media and new technologies. 
2.     Serve as co-trainer with AMI experts of faculty members and students in pre-service teacher training education programs to pilot training modules and prepare the faculty members for teaching the new course.

Locations
Award is hosted by the institution listed below
Locations Detail

The Albanian Media Institute (AMI) is the main organization of media development and media freedom in Albania.  Training is the core activity of AMI. Each year, approximately 300 Albanian journalists from Tirana and districts participate in the training courses of AMI.  Recently AMI is focused on training journalists on new challenges and new topics such as fact checking, data journalism, internet ethics, digital skills etc. AMI is substantially engaged in media policy issues in Albania, such as the improvement of media legislation, Code of Ethics, various issues related to freedom of expression, etc. The Albanian Media Institute (AMI) has a significant experience in issuing and managing sub-grants to other organizations.

In addition, the Institute has organized several research works, the most important being “Monitoring Albanian Media Landscape”, “Index of Accessibility of public institutions in Albania”, “Media Ownership in Albania”, “Media and Information Society in Albania,” “Mapping Digital Media: Albania,” “Role of advertising in media development”,  “Albanian media scene vs. European Standards”, “Relations between media and politics in Albania”,  “Media coverage of the justice reform in Albania: between public interest and political clientelism”, “Religious Extremism in Media”,  “Social media and their use by Albanian media” etc.

AMI is today member of several international organizations, such as IFEX, EJTA, World Association of Newspapers, Reporting Diversity Network, Global Forum for Media Development etc.

Currently AMI is part of a consortium of organizations from the region, implementing an EU-funded project on media literacy, including activities such as research reports, establishing Media and Information Literacy (MIL) coalitions and working groups, training future trainers (ToT) on MIL, sub-granting NGOs to work on MIL initiatives, and launching online campaigns focusing on the views about MIL of journalists, teachers and citizens - students, parents, the elderly - as the main protagonists.

The most important projects currently being implemented by AMI in the field of MIL are a) the integration of UNESCO’s MIL curricula in formal education, at pre-university level and b) Developing Media and Information Education at Albanian Universities.

Award Length and Period

Five to six months

The project is not related directly to the academic year and has some flexibility with regard to the program start date. 

Areas of Interest

The scholar is expected to have education background and/or experience in higher education and journalism. 

Special Features

The Publc Affairs Section is working with AMI to improve the level of media literacy among Albanian citizens, particularly among Albanian youth to target disinformation as it comes to Albania from foreign actors such as Russia and Turkey. 

The first phase of the project implementation started in Summer 2021 with a baseline study among students and faculty at 6 public universities, 3 faculties of Tirana University and 2 private universities. With the beginning of the academic year in October 2021, the students of target institutions are introduced to the project.  

Citizenship/Residency Requirement
Applicants residing in the award country at the time of application or thereafter are not eligible to apply for this award.
Permanent residents of the award country are not eligible to apply for this award.
Invitation Requirement
A letter of invitation is optional.
Language Proficiency Requirements
None, English is sufficient.
Additional Qualification Information

The applicant is expected to be a professional in media education and/or higher education with minimum five year of education experience. 

Additional Comments

For more information, interested applicants can reach out to: 

Remzi Lani, Executive Director of Albanian Media Institute, rlani@institutemedia.org

Ilda Londo, Program Coordinator, Albanian Media Institute, ilda@institutemedia.org 

Teaching or Teaching/Research Award Monthly Allowances
$3940
$4410
Estimated Travel and Relocation Allowance for Grantee

$3,550

Estimated Book and Research Allowance

$750.00

Additional Dependent Benefits

Additional living and housing allowance is provided for grantees with one accompanying dependent or two or more accompanying dependents. These amounts range from $100/month to $350/month.In addition, travel allowances are provided for dependents: $2,500 for one dependent, and $5,000 for two or more dependents.

Dependents must accompany the grantee for at least 80% of the period abroad and a minimum of one semester in order to qualify for additional dependent benefits. Dependent benefits are not provided to Flex grantees.

Please refer to the figures above for an estimate of total monthly Fulbright award benefits. Benefits may include a monthly base stipend, living and housing allowances, and additional one-time allowances. Benefits may vary based on a scholar's current academic rank (or professional equivalent), the city of placement, the type of award (teaching, teaching/research, or research), and the number of and duration of stay of accompanying dependents. Research-only or Professional Project grantees receive a standard stipend that is not adjusted for academic rank. In most cases, dependent benefits will not be provided to Flex grantees, or to grantees pursuing grants less than four months (or a semester) in length.

Final grant amounts will be determined prior to the start of the academic year and are subject to the availability of funds. The United States Department of State reserves the right to alter, without notice, participating countries, number of awards and allowances.

Albania

What is life like for Fulbrighters in your country?

Albania provides a unique opportunity for scholars interested in connecting with students and academics from a rapidly developing country in Europe. In the heart of the Mediterranean on the Adriatic and Ionian Seas, Albania is a beautiful country with a varied climate and topography. In the last few years, it has become a popular travel destination.  Albania enjoys friendly and cooperative bilateral relations with the United States. Pro-American sentiment is widespread among the population. 

Still relatively unspoiled by globalization, Albania offers an inspiring mixture of civilizations and cultures. Scholars are impressed by the ancient history of Albania, the rich cultural tradition, and the harmony and respect shared among the adherents of the country’s three major religions: Islam, Roman Catholicism, and Orthodox Christianity. 

Albania has a young population eager to learn and study. The educational system has experienced constant change and improvement in the last twenty-five years to reflect global developments in education and to meet the changing needs of the population. In 2015, a group of educational experts, representatives of private and public universities and other stakeholders drafted a new law on higher education. For the first time, all Albanian universities went through an institutional accreditation process led by the British Accreditation Agency successfully concluded in December 2017. Find a full list of accredited universities link .  

There are 15 public universities and over 25 private universities in Albania. The Albanian higher education system is part of the European Higher Education Area and operates on a 3+2+3 scheme (3-year undergraduate degree, 2-year graduate degree - usually referred to as a Scientific Master’s Degree, and 3-year doctoral program). Both public and private universities have partnerships with European universities and exchange programs are largely funded through EU Erasmus programs. 

The country has some good universities with strong international connections but only one University, currently offers joint degree programs with foreign universities. However, all universities are working to introduce or increase instruction in English in order to attract international students. The Fulbright Program enjoys high prestige. The Public Affairs Section (PAS) at the U.S. embassy in Tirana is responsible for administering the Fulbright Program in the country. PAS staff help interested applicants identify potential host institutions, safe and affordable housing options, and organize an orientation program for the newly arrived U.S. grantees. The orientation program provides an overview of Albanian culture, current academic, political and practical issues, as well as medical and security briefings. Throughout the grant period, grantees are invited to participate in cultural enrichment programs or engage in additional academic or non-academic activities with a variety of audiences.  

The living conditions and infrastructure in Albania are good, particularly in cities. However, rural areas are still developing and infrastructure, especially roads, can be poor. Monthly housing costs vary between $600 and $800, depending on location and size. An international English language school (K-12) is located in Tirana.  Instruction in English language is extremely limited outside of Tirana. 

Internet access is widely available in homes and in cafes in urban areas. Rural areas have more limited access to the Internet, but many people connect via smartphones.  Electronics are available for purchase but are often very expensive. 

Applications in all fields are welcome, but preference is given to those related to Journalism, Gender Studies, Human Right, Education, Public Administration, Public Health, and Law.  

For further information contact Deputy Public Affairs Officer Amanda Roberson RobersonAS@state.gov and Educational Program Advisor Mirela Cupi Cupim@State.Gov, or visit the U.S. Embassy website

Visit our Scholar Directory to view and search all Fulbright alumni. You can also learn more about Fulbright Alumni Ambassadors.