Fellowship (e.g., attending Fellows’ briefings, reading Fellows’ reports, etc.). The committee asked a question on prestige. Follow-up questions might focus on what makes the Fellowship prestigious. What is it about fellows or their work that stands out? The committee did not ask about issues of balance or priorities, although it received some open-ended comments. One comment that was noted earlier had to do with appropriate balance between scholars and practitioners (to the extent that there is a divide between them). Related to this is the notion of what type of people should be Fellows (e.g., from which disciplines). Finally, future research could explore experts’ views on what regions or topics USIP fellows ought to be covering. Such research could provide valuable information on how the direction of USIP matches the perceptions of the external community.
Based on the survey results, the Committee recommends certain steps be considered to improve the Fellowship:
Explore setting up an alumni network for former Fellows. Such a network could take advantage of the current USIP website or involve a new product, for example by tapping a social network site. One way to facilitate a network would be to hold a meeting of Fellows designed to build such a network.
Consider establishing support from businesses or associations in the community to help fellows and families cope with expenses of life in the D.C. area.
Consider the potential for and ramifications of allowing for extensions of time to the Fellowship in individual cases. Some fellows and USIP may benefit greatly from having individual fellowships extended for a few months. In addition, USIP might want to consider greater flexibility in travel and support options for research outside DC, especially internationally, during the Fellowship.