Tomorrow’s Leaders Program

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Scholarships for Master’s Programs Kick- Off for 2021

Students from nine countries may apply to earn their master’s in one of five programs at LAU under the life-changing Tomorrow’s Leaders Graduate Program.

The Tomorrow’s Leaders Graduate Program (TLG) for outstanding students from selected Middle East and North African countries has begun accepting applications for fall 2021.

Applications will close on March 18, 2021.

Scholarships will be granted for the following master’s degrees: Applied Economics, Education, Interdisciplinary Gender Studies, International Affairs, and Biological Sciences.

Students from Algeria, Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon, Morocco, Syria (residing outside Syria), Tunisia, and Yemen may apply. The program is funded by the U.S. - Department of State’s US-Middle East Partnership Initiative (MEPI) equips graduate students with the professional experience needed to advance knowledge and contribute to the achievement of socially relevant outcomes. Graduate Students work closely with leading faculty in their field on research agendas crafted in line with the MEPI-TLG goals. Starting as graduate research assistants while taking their graduate courses, students gain solid research skills that prepare them to conceptualize and conduct their own full-fledged research.

In addition to extensive financial coverage —including housing, a computer, health insurance, round-trip tickets, and more— the Tomorrow’s Leaders Graduate Program offers an exceptional student experience.

“Cutting-edge interdisciplinary research is a characterizing asset of the TLG program”, explains Dr. Iman Osta, TLG Academic Director. “Students will be engaged in research all along with their program. Acting as research assistants to experienced faculty will provide them with needed research skills and prepare them for their own research. A main component of their program and research is a gender focus. In line of LAU’s role and history in promoting gender equity and MENA region’s women empowerment, TLGers will be exposed to gender issues in their course work, and will address such issues in their research, thus contributing to both, MEPI’s and LAU’s long-lasting role in this regard”.

“Even though the selected TLG students will enroll in regular MA/MS programs at LAU, they will be exposed to extra academic and leadership activities that contribute to shaping their personalities into future leaders. They will actively participate in conferences, workshops, and community service actions, thus building authentic and experiential learning and developing higher-order thinking and 21st-century skills. Such activities prepare them for future job markets and widen their network of connections with potential employers” explains Dr. Iman Osta, TLG Academic Director at LAU.

Current and former TLG scholars at LAU attested to the program’s multiple benefits, encouraging those who are eligible to apply.

Yemeni student Hayl Al-Salehi’s experience went beyond rigorous learning and professional preparation. During the two years he spent on the MA in International Affairs program, he took part in local and international conferences, workshops, and accelerator programs, despite challenging circumstances in Lebanon. “TLG has provided me with the opportunity to study at one of the highest-ranking universities in Lebanon and the MENA region,” said Al-Salehi, noting how his professors have an “impressive record of publications and research.”

For alumna Ghina Abdul Baki from Lebanon (BS ‘18, MA ‘20), the TLG experience unlocked another scholarship for a Ph.D. in economics at the University of Ottawa, which she is currently pursuing. Through the program, she was able to secure a full-time internship position at the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia (ESCWA), where she worked simultaneously at the Social Development Division and the Economic Development and Integration Division. “I was thus able to benefit from exposure to in-depth research, and even contributed to two ESCWA publications,” she said.

Apart from the internship, she added, her graduate research assistantship which extended to hands-on teaching was another vital experience that helped her earn her Ph.D. scholarship. “The TLG program boosted both my understanding of economics and self-confidence, positively shaped my personality, and put me on track to succeed,” said Abdul Baki. Her senior research project is being reviewed by one of the top journals in environmental economics.

Following in Abdul Baki’s footsteps is current Applied Economics graduate student Zahraa Arkadan, who was also able to land an internship at ESCWA, as well as a research assistantship at LAU’s Department of Economics. “Being a TLG scholar is enriching on the academic and personal levels; we are given the tools to advance our skills, grow our research abilities and gain exposure to a multitude of career prospects,” said Arkadan.

The three TLGers agreed that the soft skills they gained along the way and the immense support received by faculty, staff, and fellow MEPI-TLers had been life-changing. “The sense of belonging to LAU and the MEPI family has always been motivating and a trigger for success,” remarked Abdul Baki. “I was positively influenced by the contagious spirit that defines MEPI students and staff.”

 “Definitely the TLG experience for young scholars coming from the diverse MENA region is an experience like no other. It offers brilliant high achieving learners a once in a lifetime opportunity to dive into their respective research interests with top-notch faculty while developing their inter-personal, leadership skills and professional networks, an opportunity not to miss!” affirms Dina Abdulrahman  LAU MEPI TL Executive Director

Looking to the future, Al-Salehi hopes to work in research, within the realm of international affairs, while both Abdul Baki and Arkadan are aiming for an academic career in teaching economics. “I’m thrilled at the very idea of being able to inspire future generations and help them unleash the leaders within,” said Abdul Baki, who also hopes to be able to contribute to advance the economic theory and social development. 

“MEPI’s Tomorrow’s Leaders Graduate program is designed for exceptional students with Bachelor’s degrees committed to pursuing a Master’s in order to become impactful agents of change in their countries. Besides earning a graduate degree, TLG scholars are expected to be innovative thinkers, active researchers, and placed in meaningful internships in order to gain employment, lead by example, and transform their communities.” highlights Dr. Elise Salem  Vice President, SDEM