Each year, the program is participated by approx. 45 scholarship holders. Between 2000 and 2020, 880 scholarship holders coming from 13 countries completed the program.
Under individual programs, the scholarship holders study selected aspects of economics and management, public administration and business, law, social and political sciences, journalism, NGO management, or culture management.
The program begins with an introductory course, the purpose of which is to provide or systematize the students’ knowledge of history as well as the current political, social and economic situation of Poland. Then Kirkland scholarship holders proceed with their individually-programmed studies at universities in Warsaw, Kraków, Poznań, Wrocław or Lublin. They prepare their end-of-term papers and diploma dissertations under the supervision of academic tutors. They also participate in integration and substantive meetings, and have traineeships at state institutions (including the Supreme Court, the National Bank of Poland and regional marshal offices) as well as non-governmental or private organizations. Courses on civic project implementation and teamwork supplement the curriculum.
In 2016 a new path, Kirkland Research Program, was launched. It is an offer of a one-semester research internship for people with established scholarly positions who come from countries covered by the program. Individual work under the eye of an academic tutor should result in a research paper written by the intern.
Each year approximately 45 scholarship holders participate in the program. From 2000 to 2020, 880 scholarship holders coming from 13 countries completed it. Of that number 484 came from Ukraine, 157 from Belarus, 58 from Georgia, 56 from Russia, 34 from Armenia, 24 from Moldova, 22 from Kazakhstan, 12 from Lithuania,
10 from Slovakia, 10 from Azerbaijan, 10 from Kyrgyzstan, 2 from Uzbekistan and 1 from Tajikistan. The most popular among scholarship holders fields of study are economics and management, and law. Popular are also social science, journalism, political science, and international relations. Academic staff, public officials and experts have accounted for the largest number of professionals.
After the program’s completion, the graduates keep regular contact thanks to the bulletin, reunions of graduates and the www.kirkland.edu.pl website. The alumni conferences, held every 4-5 years, help to maintain graduates’ contacts with Poland and with each other, as well as establish new contacts. They provide an opportunity to update knowledge of Poland and the European Union but also to discuss possible directions of transformation in the countries of the Region. Former scholarship holders are supported by the Coordinator of Post-Scholarship Projects whose task it is to maintain graduates’ contacts with Poland and encourage them to undertake joint initiatives such as national graduates’ associations.
Over the years 2001-2013, the program had been managed by the Polish-U.S. Fulbright Commission. Then, until 2016 the manager of the program was the Education for Democracy Foundation.
Since 2017, part of scholarships under Kirkland Program are financed by the Polish National Agency for Academic Exchange.
The Foundation has disbursed $14,462,030, including $534,925 for the current edition of the program.