MEI Scholarships

Every fall, the Wisconsin School of Business chooses up to six undergraduates to attend the Middle East Institute annual conference in Washington, D.C., with funding from the Donald C. Leidel International Business Scholarship Fund. Undergraduate students from all majors across campus can apply.

The Wisconsin School of Business announces a scholarship opportunity for undergraduates to attend the Middle East Institute (MEI) annual conference, to be held on November 14-15, 2017, in Washington, D.C. The mission of the Middle East Institute is to provide nonpartisan, expert information and analysis on the Middle East. The MEI Annual Conference typically attracts an audience of over 600 attendees, including opinion leaders and policymakers, diplomats and executives, teachers and students, elected officials and the community at large.

Up to six UW-Madison undergraduate students will be chosen to attend the conference. For these students, airfare, lodging, conference registration (including the keynote luncheon), and transit to and from the airport will be covered by the Donald C. Leidel International Business Scholarship Fund, administered through the Wisconsin School of Business. Students who are selected will be asked to write a short essay afterwards explaining how they benefited from the experience, as well as how they will share the knowledge gained at the conference with the UW-Madison community.

Donald Leidel is a UW-Madison alumnus and former U.S. Ambassador to Bahrain (1983-1986). He is committed to helping students gain knowledge and expertise related to the Middle East.


Applicants will be selected in a competitive process, including interviews to be held October 9 or 10, 2017.

Students interested in attending this conference in 2017 should submit the following information (via BuckyNet) by the application deadline of September 28, 2017:

  • Résumé
  • Cover Letter
  • Names and contact information for two academic or professional references
  • NOTE: Students should create and upload one (1) Word document with all the required materials.


When putting together the application materials, applicants should keep in mind the selection criteria:

  • Demonstrated interest in the region (academic work, involvement, other activities, etc.)
  • Articulated rationale for attending the conference (including alignment with academic and career goals)
  • Ability to serve as a positive ambassador of UW-Madison at the conference
  • Ability to share key findings from conference with UW-Madison community


Application materials should be uploaded in BuckyNet. Students can access the BuckyNet listing by searching for Middle East Institute Annual Conference - Leidel Scholarship and/or ID# 128630. 

Applicants selected for interviews will be notified through BuckyNet. If you have questions about how to create, access, or manage a BuckyNet account, consult with your school or college’s career center. If you are not sure where your career center is, you can learn how to access your school or college’s career center and BuckyNet in the UW-Madison Career Services Portal.

The following sites may also be helpful for students to learn more about BuckyNet:

Questions about the application process? Please contact International Programs.


Review past conferences: