The Lois Roth Foundation, based in Washington D.C., supports exchanges across national and cultural boundaries to enhance international dialogue and understanding. Cooperating internationally with several Fulbright Commissions, particularly those in the Nordic countries, the Foundation also awards prizes in cultural diplomacy and translation. The Fulbright Finland Foundation has worked with the Lois Roth Foundation since 1991.
Lois Wersba Roth
The Foundation was established in 1986 in memory of Lois Wersba Roth, a Cultural Officer with the U.S. Information Agency (USIA) and a Fulbright alumna to Sweden. As a Columbia graduate student in sociology, Roth went to Uppsala University for a Fulbright year in the early 1950s. After a decade with the American Scandinavian Foundation – where she founded a path-breaking Ford Foundation program for forty of Finland's intellectual leaders – she joined USIA in 1966. She served her first five years in Cultural Affairs in Iran, primarily as the Director of the Iran-America Society, then served in Italy and France and in various positions in Washington. In her last position, she headed USIA's division of Fine and Performing Arts. The Foundation commemorates the life of Lois Roth by supporting selected people who work in the places and fields of inquiry that she loved.
Award and Application
The Roth-Thomson Award is awarded to a Fulbrighter to enhance or expand their original Fulbright project; the Award provides added value to the original project. Lois Roth Foundation Awards focus on the humanities, visual and performing arts, and social sciences, including public policy. Grantee selection is mostly based on the intellectual content of the proposed study, the academic and/or creative excellence of the applicant, and the likelihood of a broad reception and influence.
Up to two Roth-Thomson Awards of USD 2 000 each will be awarded this year to candidates in Finland. In order to apply, please submit a two- to three-page statement, to be read by the Selection Committee. This statement must
- Briefly revisit the goals and strategies you described in your original application and review what has taken place so far in your Fulbright year.
- Assess how things look at this point, e.g.: Is your project evolving as you expected? Have you come across any dead-ends? Any new perspectives or opportunities you’d like to explore?
- State clearly: How you intend to use the Roth-Thomson Award for enhancing and/or expanding upon your original Fulbright project?
- Include a brief budget outlining how you would use the funds from the Roth-Thomson Award to enhance or expand your project. Be sure to explain how your current ideas connect or build upon your original plan, as well as their significance and feasibility.
- Specify the length of your possible extended stay in Finland. If you plan to stay longer in Finland than your original Fulbright term indicates and if you plan to apply for this award to be used during the extended stay in Finland, please clearly specify the length of the extension.
The most competitive proposals focus on humanities, visual and performing arts, and social sciences and clearly describe how Lois Roth Foundation funds would be used to enhance or expand upon the grantee’s original Fulbright project - not just cover expenses for the second year of the Master's degree studies.
Your statement should be submitted to our secure Dropbox folder by December 10, 2023.
The Fulbright Finland Foundation will send your Fulbright dossier to the Lois Roth Foundation selection committee along with your statement.
The selection decisions will be published in early February 2024.