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U.S. Embassy Policy Specialist Program (EPS)

The U.S. Embassy Policy Specialist program (EPS) gives U.S. scholars the opportunity to serve as researchers-in-residence at U.S. Embassies, U.S. Consulates, and USAID Missions in Eurasia.

IREX works with U.S. government representatives in-country to recruit scholars that meet the specific needs of the host Embassy or Mission, with the goal of improving U.S. government access to policy-relevant knowledge and expertise in the region.

This short-term research program bridges the policy and academic realms and brings American scholarship directly to the service of  the U.S. government's current needs. EPS is sponsored by the Title VIII program through the Bureau of Intelligence and Research (INR), U.S. Department of State.

IREX is no longer accepting applications for the EPS Program.


The Title VIII program maintains U.S. expertise in the regions of Eastern Europe and Eurasia and brings open source, policy-relevant research to the service of the U.S. Government and the academic community. Research conducted through the EPS program has contributed to a more informed policy debate and has shaped higher education through teaching, publications, and scholar collaborations.

• U.S. policymakers have access to current research on issues affecting U.S. policy in Eastern Europe and Eurasia: EPS scholars work closely with U.S. Embassy and USAID staff to conduct on-the-ground research on issues critical to U.S. foreign policy, and present their findings to U.S. government representatives in-country at briefings and brown bag presentations.

• U.S. scholars strengthen their expertise in the region and advance Eastern European and Eurasian studies in the U.S. academic community: in 2010-2011, U.S. Scholars conducted 78 research visits to Eastern Europe and Eurasia and 83% of participants added to their network of international academic contacts. Over half of alumni provided consultations to government, media, business or the non-profit sector following their fellowships.

Project Activities

On-the-ground critical research: EPS scholars have produced research on critical emerging issues, such as conflict resolution and Islam in the North Caucasus, media law reform in Georgia and investment potential of local industries in Kyrgyzstan.

Sharing knowledge: EPS scholars make a direct impact on the local community in the region by contributing their topical expertise through delivering lectures to universities, consulting for NGOs and briefing government officials with current findings.

Each EPS fellowship lasts one to two months and is structured in consultation with the host Embassy or Mission. As part of the EPS fellowship, participants are provided with visa assistance, international roundtrip transportation, housing in the country of service, a monthly allowance for living expenses, and emergency evacuation insurance. EPS fellows work closely with U.S. government staff and receive support from field offices in the region.

Countries of research may include: Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Moldova, Russia, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and Ukraine.


Project Facts

EPS scholars have been selected to serve in U.S. Embassies in 10 countries and USAID Missions in 5 countries across Eurasia.

Over 75% of grantees published results of their IREX-funded research.