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During the 2020-2021 academic year, when study-abroad was severely curtailed and Carolina students did not have as many opportunities to interact with students, activists, and scholars from overseas, the Carolina Asia Center was excited to support speakers based in Asia to connect with UNC virtual classrooms. This was part of a larger initiative across the UNC area studies centers under the rubric of “International Dialogues.”

Moving forward, the CAC wants to continue to offer this form of support for classroom teaching and learning. The Carolina Asia Center will make available grants to support up to two speakers per course, with an honorarium of $250 per speaker.

Any instructor of record for a UNC course is welcome to apply. Ideally, faculty members will apply with specific speakers in mind. However, if a faculty member is interested in a speaker from Asia but needs help identifying an appropriate expert, please say this in the application and the Carolina Asia Center will happily consult, with hopes of identifying the right fit for the course’s needs.

To apply, please submit a one-page cover letter describing how the speaker(s) in Asia will contribute to the course, plus the course syllabus, to Dr. Kevin Fogg (, Associate Director of the Carolina Asia Center.

Proposals will be accepted on a rolling basis.


Grant Usage Policies:

  • Speakers should be regularly resident in East, Southeast, or South Asia. This funding will provide the speaker an honorarium for a virtual engagement, but it is not designed to support travel to Chapel Hill.
  • The subject of the talks should be connected to Asia, its people and cultures. Thus, a speaker talking about the flora or fauna of China would be eligible for sponsorship, but a speaker on the latest in genetic research who happens to be located in China is not appropriate for this program. Speakers need not be limited to academics, and may include artists, activists, or practitioners.
  • The CAC requests the assistance of the faculty member and the home department to ensure that all IC paperwork is returned at least one month before the lecture. Otherwise, serious delays in the processing of the honorarium—and possibility the denial of honorarium payment by the university business center—may occur.
  • Those seeking to connect with students or whole classrooms in Asia should apply instead for the COIL program, through our partners in UNC Global Partnerships and Programs.
  • This program is specifically to fund external speakers, but those seeking to undertake a more extensive revision of a syllabus to incorporate Asia can apply instead for our Course Development Grants or Language Course Development Grants.
  • These grants are possible because of the National Resource Center funding held by the CAC on a grant from the US Department of Education, and the grants are subject to the continuing availability of funds and compliance with Department of Education regulations.