Fulbright Arctic Initiative


Fulbright Arctic Initiative 2015-16

The grantee competition for the second cohort of the Arctic Initiative is not yet open. To receive notification when the application cycle has opened, please click here.

The Fulbright Arctic Initiative will bring together a network of scholars, professionals and applied researchers from the United States, Canada, Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway, Russia and Sweden for a series of three seminar meetings and a Fulbright exchange experience.

At its core, the Fulbright Arctic Initiative will create a network to stimulate international scientific collaboration on Arctic issues while increasing mutual understanding between people of the United States and the people of other countries.  Using a collaborative model to translate theory into practice, program participants will address public-policy research questions relevant to Arctic nations’ shared challenges. 

Outstanding scholars from the U.S. and abroad will be selected to participate in the program as Fulbright Arctic Initiative Scholars through an open, merit-based competition. At least four of the scholars will be selected from the United States and at least one scholar will be selected from each of the other Arctic Council member states. Co-Lead Scholars  will provide intellectual leadership throughout the Program, in addition to mentoring program participants and facilitating discussion and collaboration among the Arctic Initiative Scholars. Program activities will take place over 18 months

Selected scholars will participate in an individual Fulbright exchange of a minimum of six weeks up to three months, as well as in-person seminars and ongoing virtual communication, all supporting the scholars’ collaborative research projects. Scholars will focus on collaborative work in multidisciplinary and multinational research teams, and will propose and carry out an individual exchange element.

Application Deadlines:
International Applicants - TBD
U.S. Applicants - TBD

  • The Fulbright Arctic Initiative will provide a platform for scholars from across the Arctic region to engage in collaborative thinking, analysis, problem-solving and multi-disciplinary research around a number of themes.
  • Arctic Initiative Scholars will work in multidisciplinary and multinational research teams in the program thematic areas described above. In addition to the Co-Lead Scholars, each of the Arctic Initiative research teams will select a coordinator to lead their respective groups.
  • At the beginning of the program, an initial group meeting and program orientation meeting will be held in Canada. This will provide the Co-Lead Scholars and research teams the opportunity to launch the collaboration and establish guidelines and goals.
  • Under the guidance of the Lead Scholars, the research teams will collaborate virtually utilizing an online platform throughout the Program period. The full group will gather to share progress and initial outcomes at a mid-term meeting that will be hosted by another Arctic country.
  • During the program period, Fulbright Arctic Initiative Scholars will participate in an individual research exchange visit lasting a minimum of six weeks up to a maximum of three months.  Non-U.S. scholars exchange visits will be at institutions within the United States and U.S. Scholars will conduct exchange visits at institutions within Canada, Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway, Russia or Sweden.
  • At the end of the program, Arctic Initiative Scholars will convene for the third and final meeting to share the results of their collaborative work and report on the accomplishment of program objectives and the national and regional implications of their findings. Scholars will disseminate policy-relevant recommendations, describe the concrete steps they have taken in implementing their projects and models at the local, national and/or regional level, and share the progress they have made and challenges they have faced in moving their recommendations from theory to practice.
  • Fulbright Arctic Initiative Scholars will receive funding in the amount of USD$40,000 for the duration of the program. This allowance is intended to support travel to all program meetings, travel and maintenance for the exchange visit, research materials and assistance for grantees only. Accommodations and meals for program seminar meetings will be covered separately. Grants will also include limited accident and sickness benefits.

The Fulbright Arctic Initiative is a program of the US Department of State, Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs (ECA).

Grant/Program Dates or Duration:

Program activities will take place over 18 months.

Application Deadlines:
International Applicants
The competition is currently closed

U.S. Applicants
The competition is currently closed


Successful candidates will include scholars at all career stages, to include applied researchers, professionals, and Indigenous and traditional knowledge experts active in the academic, public or private sectors that demonstrate outstanding qualifications and a record of experience and accomplishment in an area clearly related to one of the designated research themes. Applicants must be actively engaged in an area of inquiry relevant to the program's themes and objectives, be open to exploring and incorporating comparative, interdisciplinary approaches in their investigations, and interested in developing collaborative activities with other Fulbright Arctic Scholars.

Eligibility requirements apply at the time of application. Applicants must meet all of the following requirements, unless specific exemptions apply. Additional Fulbright policies are available here.

  • Applicants must be from one of the member states of the Arctic Council: Canada, Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway, Russia, Sweden, and the United States.

  • Non-U.S. applicants must be citizens of the country from which they are applying and residing in the country at the time of application. Non-U.S. applicants who have dual-U.S. citizenship or who hold permanent residency "green cards", whether or not they reside in the U.S., are not eligible. Since specific residency requirements vary from country to country, applicants should contact their local Fulbright office directly to determine their eligibility.

  • U.S. applicants must have U.S. citizenship and be residing permanently in the United States.

  • A Ph.D. or equivalent professional/terminal degree is preferred. For professionals, practitioners, and artists outside academia, recognized professional standing and substantial professional accomplishments are required.

  • Preference will be given to early or mid-career academics, applied researchers and/or professionals with research experience in the public, non-profit, or private sectors.

  • Applicants should have particular expertise and relevant experience in one of the identified research areas and be willing to develop new collaborative research with other members of their thematic group.

  • Non-U.S. Scholars must demonstrate proficiency in English. * Non-U.S. applications must be submitted through the Fulbright Commission in the applicant’s home country. Candidates in Russia should apply through the IIE Fulbright Office in Russia.

  • U.S. applications must be submitted through the Council for International Exchange of Scholars (CIES).

The competition is closed

Given past experience, we anticipate that many candidates will submit their online application materials in the final days before the deadline. To avoid heavy server traffic and potential delays, we encourage candidates to submit their application materials as early as possible.

Please Note: You do not need to complete the application in one sitting. The system will allow you to enter, reenter and revise all sections of your application. Remember to periodically save any data you have entered.

U.S. Scholars

Visiting (Non-U.S.) Scholars

Non-U.S. applications must be submitted through a participating Fulbright Commission. The competition is closed

The competition is closed


Fulbright Arctic Initiative Scholar Competition Opens


Visiting Scholar Application Deadline


U.S. Scholar Application Deadline


Finalists notified of selection decisions


Opening Group Meeting (Iqaluit, Canada)


Mid-year Group Meeting (Oulu, Finland)


Final Group Meeting (Washington, DC)