Peer Review

The peer review process, a hallmark of the Fulbright Scholar program, ensures that applicants will be evaluated on academic, scholarly and professional criteria.  CIES is responsible for coordinating the initial screening of Fulbright Scholar applications, known as peer review, for the Fulbright Scholar Program.

There are two rounds of peer review administered by CIES.  Applications are first received by Discipline Committees, made up of two to three members, chosen for their knowledge and expertise within a specified area of study or discipline.  Following Discipline Peer Review, each application is then sent to a panel made up of four to five Regional Peer Reviewers who have significant professional experience in the specific world region of the application.  Each Regional Peer Review committee will then make recommendations based on their own review, along with the comments of the Discipline committees.

Stages of Peer Review

  • Discipline Committee Members are asked to review up to 30 Fulbright Scholar applications during a two-week review window beginning mid-August.

Discipline Reviewers work independently through an online review platform, where they read each application and provide comments based on provided criteria.  Reviewers will also be asked to assign a rating to each application.  Once the Discipline Review is complete, the applications, along with Discipline Committee comments and ratings, are released to Regional Committee members.

  • Regional Committee Members are given access to the applications in the online review platform approximately one month before the Regional Committee meetings in Washington, D.C.; Regional Committee Members can expect to review up to 80 applications.

All reviewers are expected to complete their work within the allotted time period to ensure that each application can continue through the review process.

Join a Discipline Committee

Thank you for your interest in serving on a Fulbright Scholar Peer Review Committee.  If you would like to continue the process of joining a committee, please complete this survey and submit an updated CV to PeerReview@iie.org

Why Become a Peer Review Committee Member?

The work of the Peer Review Committees is vital to the success of the Fulbright Scholar Program.  It is because of the great care that peer reviewers take while reviewing applications that we can ensure a fair selection of Fulbright Scholar Program grantees. 

Enrich:  Continuing enrichment of your Fulbright experience by learning from other applicants in your field and giving back to the Fulbright Program. 

Engage:  Engaging in a deeper way with the Fulbright Program and Fulbright Scholar Alumni.

Evaluate:  Evaluating applications will expose you to ongoing projects in your field and help ensure the competitiveness of the Fulbright Scholar Program. 

To recognize the time and commitment from each reviewer, CIES will submit a letter of acknowledgement to your administrators following each review cycle.

Term of Appointment

Prospective Discipline and Regional committee members are identified based on recommendations from CIES board members, CIES staff, current committee members and individual self-nomination. Once approved, members of committees are appointed for a three year term by CIES on the authority of the Conference Board of Associated Research Councils. Academic discipline, demography, age and gender balance are taken into consideration in determining the final composition of the review committees.  Peer reviewers are expected to make a three-year commitment to serve on review committees.

Regional committees

If you wish to join a Regional Peer Review committee, please contact a staff member associated with your country or regional expertise. 

Grant Duration:

Please contact PeerReview@iie.org

The Council for International Exchange of Scholars is currently seeking eligible scholars and professionals to serve on one of the 127 Discipline Peer Review committees for the 2013 cycle.

Thank you for your interest in serving on a Fulbright Scholar Peer Review Committee.  If you would like to continue the process of joining a committee, please complete this survey and submit an updated CV to PeerReview@iie.org

Reviewer Testimonials

"It was a real honor to serve..." - Dr. Abigail Firey, West European History Discipline Committee

"...a highlight of my post-Fulbright Experience." - Professor Arlene Kanter, Israel Regional Committee

"...very insightful in my own career development." - Dr. Mahyar Arefi, Architecture & City Planning Discipline Committee

"I look forward to participating again next year.” - Professor Cid Pearlman, Dance Discipline Committee

"It helped me see where and how I fit..." - Dr. Andrew Giarelli, American Studies/Culture Discipline Committee

"I learn much from the discussions when the reviewers come together..." - Dr. Maxine Sample, Scholars in Residence Regional Committee

“Stimulating..." - Professor Abdul-Majeed Azad, Engineering: Chemical Discipline Committee


Dr. Abigail Firey

Dr. Abigail Firey, West European History Discipline Committee

"It was a real honor to serve.  I felt I was repaying part of the enormous debt I owe to Fulbright for so many riches: friendships, professional contacts, and intellectual development.  I also loved seeing the exciting scholarship that is going on in so many fields.  The applications are all genuinely interesting, and I learned a lot.  Thanks for the privilege and opportunity."  


Professor Arlene KanterProfessor Arlene Kanter, Israel Regional Committee

"My participation on the Peer Review Committee has been a highlight of my post-Fulbright Experience. First, I learn a great deal from reading the applications and am humbled by the creativity, intellect, and different competencies and experiences of the applicants. Second, I very much enjoy our review committee discussions. I enjoy hearing my fellow reviewers' comments and feel fortunate that we complement each other in our respective expertise and focused reading of the applications. Finally, I enjoy working with the wonderfully competent, energetic and professional Fulbright Staff." 


Dr. Mahyar ArefiDr. Mahyar Arefi, Architecture & City Planning Discipline Committee

“Overall, I find this experience very insightful in my own career development.  You get to see what the best scholars and researchers in the country are working on, become familiar with their research agendas, and their scholarly priorities.”

 


Professor Cid PearlmanProfessor Cid Pearlman, Dance Discipline Committee

“It was interesting to see the breadth of my colleagues' interests and to consider how receiving a Fulbright Award could impact their teaching, scholarship, and career. Equally interesting was considering the needs of the institutions and their students.  I look forward to participating again next year.”


Dr. Andrew GiarelliDr. Andrew Giarelli, American Studies/Culture Discipline Committee

“Once I got into it I found it truly rewarding in several ways. It helped me see where and how I fit, especially as an independent scholar, within my discipline of American Studies. It gave me tips and ideas on how to apply for other American studies fellowships. Most importantly, it energized my commitment to the Fulbright experience: I would like to continue and deepen my involvement with the program.”


Dr. Maxine Sample, Scholars in Residence Regional Committee

“Serving as a peer reviewer is a tremendous faculty development opportunity because I have a chance to see what other universities are doing or have done to internationalize their institutions. I learn much from the discussions when the reviewers come together as well.  The peer review experience is informative in providing insight into the program standard as well as the program's latitude for flexibility and creativity in meeting that standard. The experience also gives a different perspective of the review process.  For example, as an applicant, the perception is that the reviewers are looking for a way to say NO, which is not the case. Finally, the experience takes me out of my institutional and discipline silo, which is a good thing.  Being a proponent of interdisciplinarity, I enjoy having a glimpse into how other disciplines see their role in globalizing student learning.”


Professor Abdul-Majeed AzadProfessor Abdul-Majeed Azad, Engineering: Chemical Discipline Committee

“Stimulating. Having availed the opportunity of being a Fulbrighter, it was an honor to serve as a Discipline Reviewer in the case of deserving future Fulbrighters. In addition to the applicants in my area of expertise and overlap, there were interesting themes from others as well, which was quite interesting.”

FAQs | Peer Review

  1. Am I eligible to be a reviewer? 
  2. What’s the difference between Discipline and Regional Peer Review?
  3. How do I become a Fulbright Peer Reviewer?
  4. How many applications will I review?
  5. How much time should I spend on each application?
  6. When does my term begin and end?
  7. When does each review cycle begin?
  8. Can I still apply for a Fulbright Grant?
  9. How do I submit my comments? 
  10. How am I acknowledged for my service?
  11. Can I serve on a Discipline Committee and a Regional Committee in the same review year?

1. Am I eligible to be a reviewer? 

Anyone with an academic or professional background that corresponds with one of the numerous discipline committees or a specific world region and who is not currently applying for a Fulbright Scholar grant is eligible to apply.  Reviewer CVs are vetted by CIES staff before they are sent to the American Council of Learned Societies (ACLS), the Social Science Research Council (SSRC), or the National Academy of Sciences (NAS) for approval.  Academic discipline, demographics, age and gender balance are taken into consideration in determining the final composition of the review committees.

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2. What’s the difference between Discipline and Regional Peer Review?
Discipline committee members review applications online for a specific academic discipline across all world regions, and the committees do not meet in person.  Discipline reviewers base their comments and ratings upon the feasibility of an individual’s proposed project within the specified academic or professional discipline. 
Regional reviewers have had professional or academic experience in the specific world region of their assigned group of applications.  They review applications online and then meet once each year to discuss the proposed projects and how the projects fit the academic cultures of a specified world region.  Regional reviewers make recommendations based on their individual reviews and the comments of the Discipline committees. 

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3. How do I become a Fulbright Peer Reviewer?
If you are interested in becoming a Fulbright Scholar Peer Review committee member, please complete the following survey and submit an updated CV to PeerReview@iie.org.  A CIES staff member will follow up regarding the status of your appointment. 

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4. How many applications will I review as a Peer Review committee member?
Discipline:  The number of applications varies between each discipline and cannot be determined until the application deadline has passed.  Every effort is made to keep the application number at no more than 30 for Discipline Review Committees. 
Regional:  Application numbers vary depending on the region and year.  Generally Regional Reviewers can expect to review between 50 and 80 applications.

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5. How much time should I spend on each application?
Reviewers typically spend 30-45 minutes per application. 

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6. When does my term begin and end?
Committee members are asked to serve a term of three years but this may be subject to change depending on the number of applications in any given year. This is determined by a needs analysis conducted each year during which the overall pool of applications is compared to the awards available and committees are formed to ensure board representation of the applicant pool.  If there are no applications and a reviewer is not needed in a given field for a particular year, a member’s term may be extended for an additional year.

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7. When does each review cycle begin? 
The deadline for submission of applications for the Core Fulbright Scholar Program awards falls in the first week of August each year.*  Immediately following the application deadline, CIES staff members begin reviewing and processing each application for eligibility and completeness.  Once all eligible applications are deemed complete and assigned to the appropriate review committees, Discipline Peer Review Committee members are notified and the Discipline Peer Review cycle begins.  Regional Review Committees meet after the Discipline Peer Review cycle, starting in October and ending in December.
Discipline:  The Discipline Peer Review cycle begins mid-August of each year.  Reviewers are given two weeks to review the initial set of applications; they may also be asked to further comment on an application if consensus has not been reached, or to review additional applications submitted for later deadlines. 

Regional:  Regional Review Committee members are given access to the assigned applications roughly one month before the in-person committee meeting date.  Committee meetings begin in October each year and continue to meet through December. 

*Non-Core Program Awards: Some special awards such as International Education Administrator awards and Seminar awards have later deadlines, and special committees are convened to review those applications.  Please contact PeerReview@iie.org if you are interested in reviewing for one of these awards.

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8. Can I still apply for a Fulbright Grant as a reviewer?
Reviewers for the Fulbright Scholar Program may not submit an application for a Fulbright Scholar award until the next academic competition following completion of their service. Members may resign from service at any time in order to prepare a Fulbright application but are expected to wait until the following competition year to submit their application.

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9. How do I submit my comments? 
Fulbright Scholar Peer Review is conducted on a web-based program.  Reviewers have access to each application assigned to the committee, and are asked to read each application and provide comments based on provided criteria.  They are also asked to give a rating to each application.  Discipline Committee comments and ratings are released to Regional Committee members once the Discipline review is complete.  The comments and ratings may only be submitted online, so each reviewer must have access to the internet during the entire review cycle.

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10. How am I acknowledged for my service as a committee member? 
To recognize the time and commitment from each reviewer, CIES will submit a letter of acknowledgement to the reviewer’s administrators following each review cycle.  Each reviewer will also receive a certificate of participation. 

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11. Can I serve on a Discipline Committee and a Regional Committee in the same review year?
No, reviewers may only serve on one committee per cycle.  If you are asked to serve on a second committee, you may choose which commitment to defer until the end of the other committee’s term.

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