1. The purpose of the Ralph R. Kirchner Award is to contribute to international awareness and understanding by providing funds for postgraduate study outside of the United States. Preference may be given to applicants planning studies that lead to sustainable, high-impact outcomes in one of the following six areas of focus: (1) peace and conflict resolution, (2) disease prevention and treatment, (3) water and sanitation, (4) maternal and child health, (5) basic education and literacy, and (6) economic and community development. Preference is also given to scholar applicants (1) who reside in the District, (2) are enrolled as a student at a post high school institution in the District, (3) will have completed his/her baccalaureate degree by the time the award is in effect, (4) have a permanent residence in the District, &/or (5) have never had a previous educational experience studying outside the United States of America.This scholarship is available to qualified applicants including those with Rotarian Relatives.
2. Financing for "The Ralph R. Kirchner Award" (referred to from this point throughout these policies as the ‘Kirchner Award’) is a part of the annual per club member assessment of district dues and is a ‘line item’ expense within each annual budget. One or more awards may be granted each year if the selection committee feels that it is appropriate to do so.
3. The qualifications of applicants and the procedures for selecting the Kirchner Award recipient(s) are detailed within the application. In addition, award information and application can be obtained from Rotary District 6110’s Administrator. Qualified applicants should have maintained an undergraduate grade point average well above 3.25 and have high academic goals, demonstrate leadership abilities, and show promise of outstanding achievement. The relative of a Rotarian is eligible to receive The Kirchner Award. An applicant who is a relative of a Rotarian should write "Rotarian Relative" at the top of the first page of their application for the Kirchner Award.
4. To be eligible for consideration for an award for the following (not upcoming) academic year, all Kirchner Award applications must be endorsed by a local Rotary Club in District 6110. A personal interview by the sponsoring club is recommended. Support by both financial and nonfinancial means by the sponsoring Rotary club is encouraged. (Please Note: Within the application the date-completed applications must be received by the District Administrator and the date/location when/where personal interviews will be conducted will be communicated. Candidates should be sure to locate that information and arrange to comply with those established dates.) Applicants are required to be available for a personal interview by the Kirchner Award committee. (Note: Please refer to the district’s Manual of Procedure for information related to the specific composition and duties of this committee.)
5. Because the primary purpose of the award is to contribute to international awareness and understanding and since Rotary District 6110 sponsorship ends after one academic year, an award does not necessarily enable the recipient to earn a degree, certificate, or diploma. The basic period of the award is intended to be for a regular academic year (usually nine months) at the institution that the recipient selects and successfully arranges to attend. The institution must be located outside the United States. As a general policy the award cannot be held over, extended, or postponed beyond the period for which it is originally granted unless the recipient notifies the Committee Chairperson that he/she is encountering extenuating circumstances and requests special consideration for the regular start time of the award to be altered. If the
Committee Chairperson receives from the recipient information that there is a need to depart from district policy, the Committee Chairperson shall evaluate the situation, inform the other committee members of the details of the situation, and seek to reach a decision among the committee members related to any final decision it makes to depart from district policy.
6. Within the preceding paragraph, situations of ‘extenuating circumstances’ are mentioned. If the interview of a candidate reveals a situation where the committee is impressed that a meaningful period of time spent by a candidate participating in a creditable program ‘outside the-United States’ for less than an academic year would be a life-changing event for that individual, the committee has flexibility to depart from policies as set forth in the preceding and following paragraphs. If/when this kind of situation surfaces, the committee is authorized to depart from the policies of this award and adjust the conditions of the award to fit the situation that is before it. This flexibility, however, can never permit the committee to make any award that exceeds the set dollar amount that is detailed within these guidelines. Furthermore, in any situation that, by the district selection committee’s decision, departs from policy, the local Rotary club that has endorsed the applicant is responsible to oversee the adjusted conditions of the award to ensure that the adjusted conditions are being followed as detailed by the district selection committee.
7. A Rotary District 6110 Kirchner Award will have a specific dollar amount up to $18,000 and can be used for whatever documented educational expenses the recipient selects such as: round trip transportation, required academic fees, educational supplies, room and board, etc. This award maximum may or may not cover all expenses related to academic study outside the United States; therefore, any expenses incurred by the recipient that are above the amount of the award will be the responsibility of the recipient.
8. When the recipient is notified of his/her selection, they must sign and return the Kirchner Award Certification form to the District Administrator within sixty days from the date of their notification letter. The award recipient selects the institution where he/she will study and then must provide to the Rotary District 6110 Treasurer a copy of the letter indicating they have been accepted as a student. Information regarding the start dates of each semester must also be submitted to the Treasurer well in advance to insure that prompt payments will be made to the recipient or the institution they are attending.
Please note that additional information and/or details pertaining to this award can be obtained by contacting Rotary District 6110’s office during normal business hours, as follows:
Terri Pollmiller, Rotary District 6110 Administrator
4200 East Skelly Drive, Suite 590
Tulsa, OK 74135
Office: 918-481-6110 Fax: 918-481-6010
Note: The revisions, as list above, are reported to have been approved during the Business Session of the Spring District #6110 Assembly in May 2014.