BAEF Fellows 2020-2021

With the support of its various benefactors (foundations, universities, eponymous donors), BAEF is proud to announce that sixty three highly qualified Belgian students and researchers have just decided to pursue their studies and research at their top US university choice.

For the first time, the BAEF selection committee has also pick up four very young talented bachelors in Medicine for a research stay at top US Medical University laboratories. They will spend a gap research year in the US before pursuing their Master studies in Medicine back in Belgium. 

The Music Selection Committee gave a Music Fellowship to a young pianist, student from Liebrecht Vanbeckenvoort, laureate of the Queen Elisabeth Competition and Alumni of the Foundation.

2020 marks the 100th Anniversary of the Belgian American Educational Foundation (B.A.E.F.).  Since its founding in 1920 by President Herbert Hoover, the B.A.E.F. has granted Fellowships to 3,930 Belgians and 1011 Americans for advanced study or research in the partner country.

Despite the Coronavirus outbreak, the program of B.A.E.F. Fellowships for the academic year 2020-2021 comprises 76 new individuals, including 63 Belgian Fellows to study or perform research in the United States, and 13 American Fellows to study or perform research in Belgium, in all academic fields.

The main objective of the B.A.E.F. has always been to help young talented students to study towards a Master degree or PhD at a top US university. Among the Belgian Fellows who are leaving, we count 1 Bachelor student who will be studying for his initial Master, 5 graduate students for an advanced Master, and 1 candidate for a PhD in Thermal Fluids Mechanics. Among the 13 selected LL.M. Fellows, 7 have decided to leave within this academic year for LL.M. degree although a large majority postponed their start to the Spring semester 2021.

For the first time, BAEF counts four young talented medical students from the KULeuven who will leave beginning of February 2021 for a Master research level Fellowship at top US universities: such as Duke Medical Center, The Rockfeller University and  the Johns Hopkins Hospital for a gap year to conduct already research.   Finally, a total of 36 post-doctoral researchers and a doctoral researcher secured a research fellowship from the BAEF in order to finance a research stay at the best known US university labs or research centers. Often a longtime collaboration between the two institutions will start from there.

Since 1998, BAEF also gives annually 2 Fellowships to Musicians.  For the academic year 2020-2021 the Music Selection Committee, under the chairmanship Gilles Ledure,  Director General of Flagey,  selected only one Music Fellow,  a pianist student of the laureate of the Queen Elisabeth Competition and former BAEF Fellow, Liebrecht Vanbeckevoort.

In addition, 4 Belgian Fellows receive a MBA (Master in Business Administration) Fellowship but at the end only one Fellow left for Stanford GBS.  Indeed due to the Covid US Business schools have postponed their admission and Harvard BS even postponed admission to two academic years to  two of our MBA candidates.  

Honorary Fellowships for 2020-2021 were granted to 6 individuals, who secured financial support outside the B.A.E.F.

The Fellowship Committee, that interviews all Belgian candidates personally, selects the Fellows competitively from a pool of brilliant applicants. The fellowship awards comprise a stipend ranging from $20,000.00 to $50,000.00, the payment of tuition fees varying between $40,000.00 to $50,000.00 and even up to $ 80 000 for the 2-years initial master Fellowship as well as coverage for health insurance.

Among the Americans Fellows we used to have a large majority within the Humanities, Arts, History, Philosophy as well as Music. We observed a recent evolution among disciplines of the American Fellows towards the STEM fields, such as  soft condensed matter physics,  or  fluids dynamics at the  von Karman Institute and as well as in the medical research field.  It is gratifying to see that brilliant American researchers also in the hard sciences who are presently looking forward to come to top Belgian research labs directed by former Fellows of the Foundation.  

Flemish Art  has been a permanent field of interest for the Foundation. Through the financial help of the Rubenianum Fund,  the BAEF grants an annual eponymous Rubenianum Fellowship to an American Art historian in the field of 16th  – 17th C Flemish Art.  

With the support of its various Benefactors in Belgium, BAEF is proud to support financially 55 highly qualified Belgian scholars and researchers to pursue their studies and research at top US universities. We wish the new Boat of Belgian Fellows a prosperous voyage and a fruitful stay in the U.S.A.

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