The U.S. Department of State provides funding, known as the Occasional Lecturer Fund (OLF), through the Council for International Exchange of Scholars (CIES), to enable Fulbright Visiting Scholars who are in the United States, for a grant longer than three months, to accept guest lecturing invitations at colleges and universities throughout the U.S.
Follow these three steps to obtain Travel Award approval for the Fulbright Visiting Scholar Occasional Lecturer Fund.
- Complete the OLF Application Form Download Application
- E-mail the Application Form together with a Letter of Invitation from the representative of the institution to be visited to OLF@iie.org
- You should receive a letter of funding approval (or disapproval) for your application from CIES within one business week.
A. Eligibility and Requirements
Every Fulbright Visiting Scholar, whose grant length exceeds three months, is strongly encouraged to maximize the impact of her/his exchange experience by giving lectures to various U.S. audiences of higher education. Therefore, the U.S. Department of State provides funding, known as the Occasional Lecturer Fund, through CIES, for travel awards to help offset the cost of traveling within the United States to all interested visiting scholars.
The principal intent of providing the OLF travel award is to benefit the U.S. students and faculty of the host institutions and their communities. Please note: Scholars will not receive funding for trips to meet with colleagues and friends in other parts of the United States, or to attend conferences.
B. Level and Type of Support
The amount of the Occasional Lecturer Fund Travel Awards is based on the available fare on the day the application is approved by CIES.
- No Travel Awards are provided for travel distance of less than 75 miles
Determining the Travel Award
- CIES will use an online travel site, identify an available fare, and use that sample fare cost to set the OLF funding amount. The OLF amount will be rounded to the nearest $50, in order to also help offset ground transportation costs to the airport.
- Travel awards up to $750 will be made by CIES. If flights under $750 appear to be unavailable, CIES will disapprove the request, unless the trip involves a visit to a Minority Serving Institution (MSI). If the visit is to an MSI, CIES will contact ECA to approve or disapprove scholar’s application.
- CIES will send the sample flight itinerary and fare to the Scholar, and notify them of the approved OLF award amount.
- Scholars will make their own travel arrangements. If the Scholar waits to book travel and costs change, the award amount will remain the same as originally approved.
- The award is not a reimbursement, but rather an amount toward travel costs, based on a travel rate that was available at the time the trip was approved.
To receive your travel award payment:
- Complete the evaluation form (.PDF) and Electronic Funds Transfer (EFT) authorization form within three days after your OLF trip.
- The approved funds will be processed within two weeks after submitting the OLF evaluation form, EFT authorization form and a voided check.
- CIES will deposit the OLF travel award to the U.S. bank account listed by the scholar on the EFT authorization form, per the scholar’s account numbers listed on the voided check.
If the host institution offers you an honorarium for a guest lecture, you must obtain approval from CIES in advance. Refer to the "Employment/Honoraria" (.PDF) section in the Guide for Visiting Fulbright Scholars for information on the steps you must take to obtain the approval. Any honorarium amount should be stated on the Occasional Lecturer Fund application form.
To further expand the impact of the Fulbright Scholar Program, the Occasional Lecturer Fund gives preference to trips to U.S. academic institutions identified as Minority Serving Institutions (MSIs) and to institutions or organizations working with the physically challenged. A list of institutions that qualify as MSIs can be found here. Examples of institutions that work with physically challenged individuals include Gallaudet University for the Deaf in Washington, D.C., or programs such as Very Special Arts or the Special Olympics. Information on these and other institutions can be found on-line or at your university library. Because preference is given to visits at MSIs, visiting scholars may request approval for a trip to visit to two institutions, including an MSI.