The Department of Human Development, Education and Culture (DHDEC) of the General Secretariat of the Organization of American States (OAS) offer professional development scholarships to citizens of OAS Member States. Professional Development courses aim to expand or refresh participants' professional expertise in areas of specialization related to the priority development areas of the OAS as outlined in the Inter-American Council for Integral Development (CIDI) Strategic Plan for Partnership for Integral Development 2006-2009. OAS Member States have approved the following priority areas for Partnership for Development:
- Social Development and Creation of Productive Employment
- Economic Diversification and Integration, Trade Liberalization and Market Access
- Scientific Development and Exchange and Transfer of Technology
- Strengthening of Democratic Institutions
- Sustainable Development of Tourism
- Sustainable Development and the Environment
Professional development scholarships (formerly known as CHBA, PEC, and CEAT scholarships) are granted to persons who meet the requirements for professional development through courses in specialized areas of training. These scholarships are organized through cost sharing arrangements with OAS Member States, OAS Permanent Observer States, neither States that are OAS Member nor Observer States, regional and international organizations, public and private agencies, philanthropic and commercial institutions, institutes of higher learning, or in coordination with other areas of the General Secretariat of the Organization of American States. The scholarships are awarded for on-site training in one of the above-mentioned institutions or for distance education training. Professional development scholarships are also offered for specific programs of studies proposed by the OAS Inter-American Committees.
These unique training and educational opportunities help to meet the development needs of OAS Member States by providing a vital investment in human capital. Participants return to their home countries and pass what they have learned on to others, thus maximizing the benefits of the program.
Each year, the Department of Human Development, Education and Culture(DHDEC) publishes a list of all courses for which scholarship awards are available, and a detailed individual announcement of each course. The announcement shall contain all pertinent information including the content and duration of the course, institution offering the course, eligibility requirements, application procedures, benefits offered, and the deadline for applications to reach the Department of Human Development, Education and Culture (DHDEC) in Washington, DC.
The course listings and individual announcements are distributed to the OAS General Secretariat Offices in Member States and Permanent Missions of the Member States.
- Citizens or permanent residents of OAS Member States (Antigua and Barbuda, Argentina, The Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Bolivia, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Dominica, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Grenada, Guatemala, Guyana, Haiti, Jamaica, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Suriname, Trinidad and Tobago, United States of America, Uruguay and Venezuela).
- Candidates who meet the requirements indicated in the course announcement.
- Candidates must be proficient in the language of instruction of the course.
Starting date and duration of Fellowships:
The dates are indicated in the course announcements. Awards are granted for the duration of the courses.
Place of Study:
- An award cannot be granted for study in the country of origin of the candidate. It can be awarded for study in another country in which the applicant also holds the status of citizen or permanent resident subject to the approval of the National Liaison Agency ( ONE) of the country of origin. The National Liaison Agency or ONE is the official channel determined by each Member State government for the processing of OAS Scholarships.
- An award may be granted for study by distance education where the participant remains in the country of origin for all or most of the time, if the program is offered by an institution not based in the country of origin.
- Professional Development Awards may provide funds for tuition and fees, international travel, and health insurance. These benefits will vary depending on the type of award.
- The individual course announcements specify what benefits are being offered by the institution and/or sponsoring agency.
Deadline for Presentation of Applications:
The deadline for presentation of applications to the National Liaison Agency (ONE) differs from country to country and should therefore be confirmed with the relevant ONE in the applicant's country of origin.
Applications should be presented sufficiently in advance with all the required documentation to the ONE of the candidate's country of origin or residence. ONEs, in turn, are requested to send the completed application forms to the Department of Human Development, Education and Culture (DHDEC) in Washington, DC, before the deadline indicated in the specific course announcement, which differs in each announcement.
An application for an OAS Professional Development scholarship must have the official endorsement of the designated National Liaison Agency (ONE) of an OAS Member State of which the applicant is a national or permanent resident.
For citizens or permanent residents of the United States, applications must be presented to the Department of Human Development, Education and Culture (DHDEC) in Washington , D.C. , by no later than the deadline clearly indicated in the individual announcement.
Announcement of Awards:
Candidates are informed directly of the application results. Permanent Missions to the OAS, ONEs and Offices of the General Secretariat in the respective countries are also informed of awards.
Responsibilities of the Scholarship Recipient
- The selected candidates must confirm their acceptance of the scholarship by signing and returning to DHDEC their completed “form of acceptance” of the scholarship award; only after this has been done will the OAS proceed with the necessary travel arrangements to purchase the air travel tickets, economy class, round-trip, between the scholarship recipient’s country of origin and the study location.
- Successful candidates will participate in the evaluation of the effectiveness of the Professional Development course by completing the "Report-Survey” of Scholarship, which first must be completed and submitted upon completion of the course, and the “Final Report-Survey" within three months after completing the course.
Online Courses and Blended Learning Modality Courses (Online and Onsite phases):
- Selected scholarship recipients are responsible for obtaining the necessary visa(s) to enter the country of study and the corresponding transit(s). The OAS will not be responsible for any costs related to obtaining visas or transfer documentation.
- Each scholarship recipient is responsible for arriving in time for the commencement of activities on the date established by the institution offering the course or program.Â Â
- The selected candidates must confirm their acceptance to the Department of Human Development, Education and culture of the OAS in their respective countries and through the ONE in order for the OAS to proceed with making the necessary travel arrangements to purchase the air travel tickets, economy class, round-trip, between their country of origin or residence and the study location or, if the scholarship is refused, to appoint another candidate. Â If the scholarship is not refused, the selected candidate is accepting the scholarship.
- If the scholarship recipient fails to travel on the scheduled dates, or change routes, after the General Secretariat of the Organization of American States (GS/OAS) has purchased his/her travel ticket, he/she will be responsible for paying the difference in ticket costs in order to arrive at the course site in time.
- The scholarship recipient will furthermore have to reimburse the GS/OAS the total cost of the airfare for his/her travel from his/her country of residence to the site where the Professional Development Course will take place and back if, after the ticket has been purchased, he/she declines the scholarship without written authorization from the Department of Human Development, Education and Culture (DHDEC).
- If the fellow declines, cancels or terminates the Scholarship after the course or program has started without providing the GS/OAS with a compelling reason, he or she will have to reimburse GS/OAS the total amount of incurred costs/expenses.
- The selected candidates must confirm their acceptance of the scholarship by signing and returning to DHDEC their completed “form of acceptance of the scholarship award” that will be sent shortly to their e-mails; only after this has been done will the OAS proceed with the necessary scholarship arrangements.
- If the selected candidate declines, cancels or terminates the Scholarship after the course or program has started without providing the GS/OAS with a compelling reason, he or she will have to reimburse GS/OAS the total amount of incurred costs/expenses.
- Access to technological hardware and connectivity (internet and email) costs are responsibility of the selected candidate. The selected candidate should have unrestricted access to a computer with Internet.