Fulbright Arctic Initiative

Application Deadlines:
International Applicants - October 16, 2017
U.S. Applicants - October 30, 2017

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 and opportunities.

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. Arctic Flyer >

Click to Expand Program Details

Selected scholars will participate in an individual Fulbright exchange of a minimum of six weeks and a maximum of three months, as well as in-person seminars and ongoing virtual communication, all supporting the scholars’ required collaborative research projects. Scholars will be selected on the basis of an individual research project linked to an exchange visit and potential to collaborate in a group research project in one of two thematic areas described below.

  • 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 across two core thematic areas:
    • Resilient Communities: The Arctic is facing profound social, economic, and environmental change and communities are increasingly confronted with critical policy challenges related to issues of health and wellness, energy resource management, environmental protection, sustainability of the Arctic Ocean, infrastructure, indigenous rights, education, and regional governance.  Further research is needed on ways to build social resilience in communities to adapt to changes across the Arctic.  This research should focus on and ideally involve Arctic communities themselves and consider the application of indigenous knowledge to help inform policy at local to regional scales, as well as multi-disciplinary research to bring differing or complementary viewpoints.
    • Sustainable Economies: The rapid changes in the Arctic Ocean system resulting from sea ice decline, changes in water conditions, and increasing shipping and energy production have significance for Arctic nations, global markets, and coastal communities.  The economic impacts of environmental changes and globalization in the Arctic, together with the region’s expanding connections to the global economy, require research to address how commercial opportunities can be supported and balanced with the need for sustained subsistence livelihoods in Arctic communities.
  • Arctic Initiative Scholars will work in multidisciplinary and multinational research teams in the program thematic areas described above.
  • The Fulbright Arctic Initiative seeks to support research that will inform policy and provide knowledge supporting a more sustainable Arctic future. With this goal in mind, potential applicants are encouraged to review research products from the first round of the Initiative as well as agenda setting documents coming from the Arctic Council Working Groups, the Arctic Science Ministerial Meeting in Washington D.C. (September 2016), the Arctic Council Chairmanship program of Finland, and Indigenous People’s Organizations representing Arctic stakeholders.  
  • At the beginning of the program, an initial group meeting and program orientation meeting will be held (tentatively planned to be 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.


Grant/Program Dates or Duration:

Program activities will take place over 18 months beginning in Spring 2018.


  • Webinar - IARPC Collaborations Webinar Series – The Fulbright Arctic Initiative (August 25, 2017 - 1:00 pm to 2:00 pm EDT)
  • Webinar - Fulbright Arctic Initiative Program Overview for Applicants (September 06, 2017 - 2:00 pm to 3:00 pm EDT)
  • Webinar - Fulbright Arctic Initiative Program Overview for Applicants 2 (October 11, 2017 - 2:00 pm to 3:00 pm EDT)

Application Deadlines:
International Applicants
October 16, 2017

U.S. Applicants
October 30, 2017


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

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 and practitioners outside academe, 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.

  • Preference for Fulbright Scholar opportunities will be given to candidates who have not previously received a Fulbright Scholar grant.  Recipients of a Fulbright Scholar grant are eligible to apply for another Fulbright Scholar grant two years after the date of completion of the previous grant. (For serial grants, the two-year period begins at the end of the final grant in the series.) Applicants may apply for only one Fulbright Scholar regional program or country per academic year.

  • 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 Institute of International Education’s Council for International Exchange of Scholars (IIE/CIES).

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, re-enter 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. For country-specific application instructions and contact information, visit the local Fulbright office website:

July 2017 |

Fulbright Arctic Initiative Scholar Competition Opens

October 16, 2017 |

Visiting Scholar Application Deadline

October 30, 2017 |

U.S. Scholar Application Deadline

February 2018 |

Finalists notified of selection decisions

Spring 2018 |

Opening Group Meeting (Canada)

Winter 2019 |

Mid-year Group Meeting (TBD)

Fall 2019 |

Final Group Meeting (Washington, DC)

The Fulbright Arctic Initiative for 2017-2018 provided a platform for scholars from across the Arctic region to engage in collaborative thinking, analysis, problem-solving and multi-disciplinary research in one of two areas, Resilient Communities and Sustainable Economies. A sample of some of the key outcomes of this initiative are included below.

Learn more about the inaugural Fulbright Arctic Initiative here.