AIEA Thematic Forums

Learn more about... AIEA Upcoming Thematic Forums and Past Forums

Purpose of AIEA Thematic Forums

To increase the opportunities for AIEA members and other professionals from related fields to gather in organized venues to discuss and learn more about salient leadership issues in International Higher Education. The topic and size (number of participants) of the forum are open. The target audience of Thematic Forums are SIOs and university leaders. Thematic Forum funding is available for AIEA member institutions (higher education institutions) regardless of location, and members from outside the U.S. are also encouraged to apply. 

Length of AIEA Thematic Forum

1-2 days between the months of September and May. The Thematic Forum should not take place during the AIEA Conference or Academy.

AIEA Monetary Support

AIEA will provide up to $5000 per forum. Funds can be used for any of the following:

  • One or more meals for participants
  • Meeting space (AIEA encourages cost sharing)
  • Stipend/travel for outside speaker(s) if appropriate
  • To subsidize hotel costs to participants

Up to $4000 of the award will be distributed prior to the Forum, and $1000 of the award will be distributed after the final report has been received by AIEA.

Funds may not be used to pay for salaries at host institution(s). Unused funds must be returned to AIEA. In the event that the Forum is cancelled all AIEA funds must be returned to AIEA. 

Registration Fees

The host institution(s) are encouraged to charge a nominal registration fee within the $50 range to cover additional costs of the meeting, but a fee greater than $100 would require significant justification in the application. Note: the Forum should not be a money-making opportunity for the institution. The expectation is that AIEA funding would help make it possible to hold such an event and cover costs only. Forum costs should be reasonable.

Note: AIEA does not handle forum registrations or payment processing. Host institutions are responsible for setting up a registration system and processing payments. 

Number of Awards

AIEA will grant up to four awards per academic year.

Selection Criteria

  • Forum hosted by an AIEA member at an HEI member institution
  • Saliency and focus of the issue/topic for Senior International Officers/Senior leaders advancing internationalization at their institutions
  • Marketing plan to reach participants
  • Support from host institution(s)
  • Reasonableness of budget and cost sharing by host institution
  • Transparency of participant selection process
  • Support of AIEA goals, benefit to AIEA members, and opportunity for AIEA to gain exposure

Preference will be given to host institutions in different sections/regions of the United States. AIEA also welcomes thematic forum applications from institutions outside the United States. Well-attended Thematic Forums are often held in conjunction with or immediately preceding or following a local International Education event. 

Thematic Forum hosts are encouraged to join with other local HEIs in the planning of forums (including community colleges). 

Thematic Forum Best Practices -pdf doc.

2019 Thematic Forum Host JY Zhou from Stockton University shares some insight and tips on preparing an AIEA Thematic Forum in the video below.

Host Institution Responsibility

  • Selection of Topic
  • Design and content of Forum
  • Logistics: Arrange/Provide meeting space, meals, speaker(s)- note: it is not required to have a speaker. Format can also include a leadership dialogue among participants
  • Registration
  • Marketing to Senior International Officer (or their international equivalent) participants 
  • Provide information about hotels if the Forum requires participants to stay overnight
  • Have participants complete an evaluation form provided by AIEA (and send these results to AIEA within 30 days of the end of the Forum)​
  • Submit final report (see below) to AIEA within 30 days of the end of the Forum 
  • Disseminate knowledge after the Forum as described in proposal
  • The host institution is expected to be AIEA institutional member for the entirety of the academic year

AIEA Contribution

  • Financial Award of up to $5000
  • AIEA Endorsement
  • Use of the AIEA member-only listserv for advertising the Forum; Forum hosts are responsible for promotion 
  • Follow-up thank you letters to president of host institution

To apply for a Thematic Forum, please upload the following information into the AIEA Thematic Forum Proposal Form: 

  • 3-5 page proposal explaining the topic/issue of the proposed workshop and its importance to international educators. The proposal should include an outline and format of the workshop, names and titles of facilitator or speaker(s), length of workshop, intended outcomes/takeaways for attendees, proposed date, proposed marketing plan to SIOs in region and knowledge capture and dissemination plans. It should also describe how the forum addresses strategic-level issues pertaining to SIOs or other senior leaders advancing internationalization at their institutions, as well as how organizers will recruit senior leaders in international education to attend. Please also include the selection process of participants and maximum number of participants. 
  • CVs for the facilitators/presenters/speakers
  • Detailed budget (specifying how AIEA funds will be used specifically plus other sources of funding). This budget should be specific and not include estimated lump sums. Please include dollar amounts for estimated in-kind and cash matches, as well as how any participant registration fees will be used. (remember justification is needed if the registration charge is more than $100 per person)

A final report is due 30 days after the conclusion of the Forum. This report should include: 

  • Number of participants & roster
  • Final Budget Report
  • Participant Evaluations
  • Highlights and Overview of Results of the Forum
  • Suggestions for future AIEA Forums
  • Knowledge dissemination
  • Photos

Questions? Email [email protected]