End of January 2020 effectively marked the 100th Anniversary of the Belgian American Educational Foundation (B.A.E.F.). Because of the Coronavirus pandemic, BAEF could only celebrate its Centennial in June 2022.
Since its founding in 1920 by President Herbert Hoover, the B.A.E.F. has granted Fellowships to 4,103 Belgians and 1031 Americans for advanced study or research in the partner country.
The program of B.A.E.F. Fellowships for the academic year 2022-2023 comprises 96 new individuals, including 86 Belgian Fellows to study or perform research in the United States, and 10 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 departing, we count 9 Bachelor students who will be studying towards an initial Master degree, 11 graduate students for an advanced Master degree, 15 LL.M. Fellows and 8 MBA Fellows.
For the third time in a row, BAEF counts 3 young talented medical students from the KULeuven who will leave with a Master research level Fellowship to top US universities: such as Stanford U. School of Medicine, Johns Hopkins School of Medicine and Harvard Medical School for a gap year to conduct research. They will resume their Master studies in Medicine upon return to Belgium.
Additionally, 24 post-doctoral researchers and 3 doctoral researchers 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 Fellowships to Musicians. For the academic year 2022-2023 the Music Selection Committee, under the chairmanship Gilles Ledure, Director General of Flagey, selected only one Music Fellow, for a Master in Composition at the Eastman School of Music.
Honorary Fellowships for 2022-2023 were granted to 12 individuals, who secured financial support outside the B.A.E.F.
Finally, 2 initial Master students 2021 and 6 MBA students 2021 will be supported for a second year of study during 2022-2023.
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 $ 80 000 for the 2-years Master Fellowship.
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. This year we count 5 American Fellows in the STEM fields , 2 in Art history , 1 in Political science and 2 in Carillon performance.
We wish the new “Boat” of Belgian Fellows a prosperous voyage and a fruitful stay in the U.S.A. as well as an interesting and fruitful stay in Belgium to the 10 American Fellows.