Fulbright Specialist Program FAQs

 Roster Applicants

  1. Am I eligible to apply to the Fulbright Specialist Program Roster?
    The Fulbright Specialist Program is open to qualified U.S. scholars and professionals in select disciplines.  Please visit the Specialist Eligibility page for eligibility information.
  2. Do I apply for a Specialist grant to a specific country or with a specific project idea in mind?
    U.S. scholars and professionals apply for admission to the Specialist Roster and are evaluated by discipline peer review committees based on their academic and professional qualifications as well as their suitability for Specialist grant activity.  Roster applicants are not applying for a grant to a specific country, and applicants do not propose project ideas.  If recommended for Roster admission, the individual then becomes eligible to be selected for an approved Specialist project that is proposed by eligible non-U.S. institutions overseas.
  3. Is there helpful material to assist Specialist Roster Applicants?
    Yes, please visit the Specialist Roster Application pages for applicant guidance.

Candidates on the Specialist Roster

  1. I received a letter stating that I was approved for candidacy on the Fulbright Specialist Roster. What does this mean?
    As a Fulbright Specialist Roster candidate, you are eligible for consideration and selection for two to six-week grant opportunities through the Specialist Program. As CIES receives requests from host institutions overseas seeking Specialists, we contact those candidates on the Roster with the most relevant professional experience to ascertain their interest and availability for the grant opportunity. CIES then sends the information of interested candidates to the overseas Fulbright offices for consideration and final selection.
  2. Now that I’m on the Roster, am I a “Fulbright Specialist”?
    A “Fulbright Specialist” is a grantee of the program. Until you have received a grant, you are considered a Fulbright Specialist “Roster candidate”. A list of Fulbright Specialists (grantees) can be found on the Scholar Directory page.
  3. As a candidate on the Roster, am I guaranteed a grant?
    No; it is possible that not all Roster candidates will receive a grant. Whether you do depends greatly on the specific kinds of requests that CIES receives from host institutions overseas. CIES will certainly contact you when we receive requests that match your expertise, and we will try to match as many candidates as possible with grant opportunities.  Additionally, CIES encourages Roster candidates to be proactive in exploring collaborations with existing overseas contacts to see if there is interest in their submitting a named Project Request.
  4. If I have already had a Specialist grant to a certain country, can I return on another Specialist grant?
    A return visit by the same Specialist must be strongly justified by the host institution in their request and might not be approved by the U.S. Department of State. A key goal for all Fulbright Scholar Programs is to achieve the greatest participation by qualified U.S. scholars and professionals. Preference is generally given to candidates who have not previously received a Fulbright Scholar grant. Any subsequent visit by a Fulbright Specialist or Scholar alumnus to the same country must build on the initial Fulbright Specialist project or Scholar grant, not repeat similar work.
  5. I know of an institution that would like to make a request for my expertise. How do they do this?
    Project Request approval is at the discretion of the local Fulbright agency in each country. Host institutions interested in hosting a Specialist must inquire about the Specialist program in their country and whether it is possible to make a request through their local Fulbright commission or the Public Affairs Office at the U.S. embassy.  Please visit the Develop and Submit a Specialist Project Request page for more information on the Project Request process.
  6. Does CIES have suggestions on how to find a potential host institution overseas and develop a project?
    Yes; information about the how to develop a project request with an institution abroad, as well as suggestions for finding an interested host institution, can be found on the Find a Specialist Project Opportunity page.
  7. Is the Fulbright Specialist Roster available to Fulbright commissions or U.S. embassies?
    Yes; the Fulbright commissions and U.S. embassies have access to the Roster through a secure website.
  8. Is the Fulbright Specialist Roster available for public viewing?
    No; only Fulbright Specialist Program staff and Fulbright offices overseas have access to the online Roster through a secure website.
  9. Do I need to reside in the United States in order to receive a Specialist grant?
    Yes; to ensure that there is an impact of the Fulbright experience in the United States (e.g. through the Specialist’s interaction with colleagues, students, and communities) as well as to promote U.S. and non-U.S. institutional affiliations, Specialist Roster candidates must reside in the United States at the time of grant approval and must intend to return to the United States after completing the grant.
  10. Will I receive a certificate of participation?
    After completion of a Fulbright Specialist grant, CIES will mail you a certificate.  Certificates are sent out once each year.
  11. When my five-year Roster tenure expires will I be able to return to the Roster?
    Subject to continued funding of the program and no subsequent policy changes, there is a three year waiting period before a Specialist may return to the Roster. If you qualify to participate in the program after the three year waiting period, please email Specialist Program staff at fulspec@iie.org for more information. You will not need to submit a new application, but updates to your record may be needed.