The Center for International Programs coordinates Louie A. Brown Visiting International Scholars Awards program, a prestigious and competitive Valdosta State University grants program established to assist VSU colleges and departments in their efforts to bring the international dimension into our classrooms, research, and community life. Grant awards under this program focus on enabling an academic unit, or a multidisciplinary group of academic units to bring recognized international faculty to campus for a period of up to one academic year (beginning Fall or Spring semesters). The purpose of the visit is to assist in achieving institutional, college and departmental strategic internationalization goals and objectives and to strengthen VSU global position in all aspects related to the pursuit of excellence in teaching, research, and community engagement.

The L.A. Brown program proposals fall in two major categories: sustainability and advancement of existing international partnerships and development of new institutional linkages and/or areas of expertise. The first group of projects focuses on bringing/exchanging faculty on joint international academic projects with VSU partner institutions abroad for a period up to one academic year to further teaching, research, and service excellence efforts according with the unit’s and University’s  strategic goals. (Note: In this category one semester (four months) visits have the potential of being more beneficial since they allow VSU to bring more senior/prominent visitors on campus). Usually this category of awards requires the visitor to teach two classes per semester.

The second programmatic category offers a possibility to invite both senior and junior scholars that represent new institutions, cultures and geographic areas.  The purpose of this group of projects is to develop new areas of regional expertise and, subsequently, to serve as a vehicle for bridging cultures and people, foster VSU efforts in the competition for externally funded projects and programs, as well as support our global cultural diversity efforts. Visits up to one academic year are supported through this category of awards, provided that such visits serve clear academic unit and institutional goals, with follow up plan for further development of the linkage and/or area of expertise. This category of awards requires the visitor to teach at least one three-hour class per semester, to assist in the teaching of two classes, or a combination of thereof.

All proposals need to reflect on the role of the visitor in achieving strategic international goals and objectives for the academic unit and/or for innovative multidisciplinary programs and to be aligned with the university strategy. Brown Scholar grants are awarded on the basis of proposals submitted in accordance with the guidelines described below. The number and type of awards depends on proposal quality, impact, and funding availability. The Brown Award Committee decides on proposal ranking and submits its opinion to the Office of the Vice President for Academic Affairs for a final funding/hiring decision.

The deadline for submitting proposals is November 30th of the current academic year for projects beginning Fall or Spring semester of the next academic year due to the complexity of the J-1 visa process. If funds are available, the Brown Scholar Award Committee will consider additional proposals for the Spring semester of the next academic year by March 30th of the current academic year.